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Looser quarantine considered

Diplomats and their family members arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province in August. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

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The Ministry of Public Health has proposed a new type of Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) that will allow short-term visitors to travel to designated areas during their 14-day quarantine period.

Director-general of the Health Service Support Department, Thares Krassanairawiwong, said a new type of ASQ was being discussed for short-term visitors in the provinces ready to reopen.

The new ASQ will come with conditions to be discussed between the government and businesses.

People in each of the provinces must be informed of the new ASQ and approve of it, the official said.

Foreign visitors must accept travel routes set by the provinces. Most importantly, they must come from countries with low Covid-19 risk and no local infections for three months, Dr Thares said.

Tourists must test negative for the virus in 72 hours prior to departure and stay in home quarantine for 14 days before leaving their country. They must also book flights and accommodation through travel agents.

The provinces which are ready to reopen must make sure that routes for foreign visitors will not be used by local residents. Recommended activities for tourists include wellness tourism activities such as massage, spa and gastronomic tours.

Hotels where they can stay must be hotels with SHA (Safety and Health Administration) standards, the doctor said.

The areas where foreign tourists can visit will be fixed, he said.

They are required to use tracking devices with representatives of agencies responding to Covid-19 travelling with them at all times.

The doctor added that provinces wanting the new type of ASQ must have adequate public health systems and hospitals with the capacity to treat Covid-19 patients.

Many provinces, most of which are tourism provinces, have shown an interest in offering the new type of ASQ such as Chon Buri, Buri Ram, Rayong, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket and Surat Thani, said the doctor.

"We are confident that international travellers will be able to visit Thailand from Oct 15 onwards. We are ready to take them," the director-general said.

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adequate : good enough or large enough for a particular purpose - พอเพียง

approve : to give official permission - อนุมัต

condition : something that must be done before another thing can happen - เงื่อนไข

confident : being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future - มั่นใจ

gastronomic (adj): connected with cooking and eating good food - เกี่ยวข้องกับการพิถีพิถันในการกิน

route : the roads used to go from one place to another - เส้นทาง

test negative : to show no signs of being infected by a particular virus, bacteria, etc. - ตรวจพบว่าไม่ติดเชื้อ

track : to follow the course of a moving object such as a ship, aircraft or animal using special equipment - ติดตาม, ตามรอย

wellness : healthy; having good health and not likely to become ill/sick - มีสุขภาพดี


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