The Tourism and Sports Ministry has sought help from private hospitals to carry out testing of tourists arriving at airports. Photo by WICHAN CHAROENKIATPAKUL
A seven-day quarantine for foreign tourists can be put into effect in November if the first batch of inbound tourists in October is clear of coronavirus infections, says the Tourism and Sports Ministry.
Next week the government will announce more details of the special tourist visa (STV) that will allow long-stay visitors, the first international arrivals in almost six months, to enter the country by Oct 1, said Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.
If the first two groups of 300 foreigners complete the 14-day quarantine on Oct 15 and Oct 21 without a positive case, then the ministry plans to propose an increase in the number of tourists per week by Nov 1.
"Only 300 tourists per week will not be enough," Mr Phiphat said. "However, the figure has to comply with the capacity of the healthcare workforce from the Public Health Ministry to prepare swab tests."
For instance, the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office can provide swab testing services of up to 1,000 tests per day.
The ministry has spoken with private hospitals about providing more health personnel to support the virus testing process at airports, or allowing groups of tourists to get the test at quarantine facilities.
If the tourism plan runs smoothly, the ministry will consider shortening the quarantine period to seven days in mid-November, Mr Phiphat said.
"In the event there are five positive cases from 300 tourists, the plan to welcome foreigners has to move forward anyway," Mr Phiphat said. "But we will set up new alternative plans to cope with the situation."
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alternative : another choice - ทางเลือก, ตัวเลือก
batch : a group - กลุ่ม
capacity : the ability to do a particular thing - ความสามารถ,สมรรถภาพ
comply (verb): to obey a rule, law, agreement, etc. or do what someone asks you to do - ปฏิบัติตาม (กฎหมาย, ข้อเสนอ, ข้อตกลง etc.)
inbound : travelling towards a particular point, particularly into a city - ขาเข้า (opposite of outbound ขาออก)
personnel : the people who are employed in a company, organization or one of the armed forces - บุคลากร, เจ้าหน้าที่, พนักงาน
quarantine (noun): a situation in which a person or animal that might have a disease is kept separate from other people or animals so that they do not catch the disease - การกักบริเวณ, การจำกัดบริเวณ
swab (noun): an act of taking a sample from somebody's body, with a swab - การเก็บตัวอย่างโดยใช้ฟองน้ำ ผ้า สำลีหรือวัตถุซับอื่น ๆ
visa : an official document or mark in your passport that allows you to enter or leave a country for a specific purpose or period of time - วีซ่า, เอกสารอนุมัติที่ประทับตราบนหนังสือเดินทาง