Thailand now open to the whole world

Thailand now open to the whole world

Tourists in protective gear arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province in October. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Tourists in protective gear arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province in October. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Tourists from everywhere are now welcome to visit Thailand under a newly amended Special Tourist Visa (STV) long-stay programme.

However, these travellers still need to quarantine for 14 days, deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said on Tuesday.


STVs were previously only available to people from low risk-countries but a low number of tourists took advantage of the programme, with only 825 people from 29 countries and only six luxury yachts using it, said Ms Rachada.


Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha insisted on Tuesday that Thailand was not experiencing a second wave of the pandemic, nor dealing with any challenge of superspreaders, as rumoured.


The PM urged people not to panic, saying that would only worsen the situation, and he cited the fact that a large number of hotel bookings had been cancelled in recent weeks due to an overreaction to media reports of a possible superspreader.

Meanwhile, among those now being treated for Covid-19 were four healthcare workers who were infected at alternative state quarantine facilities and private hospitals in Bangkok.

Their infections prompted an investigation as to how healthcare workers could have contracted the virus.

Health authorities on Tuesday recorded 19 new Covid-19 infections, one of which was a man in Chiang Rai who became the 39th person to have caught the virus at an entertainment venue in the Burmese border town of Tachileik.

The Chiang Rai patient is the latest Thai national to catch Covid-19 abroad before sneaking back into the country illegally.

Vocabulary

  • alternative state quarantine (ASQ): quarantine at government-accredited hotels at the traveler’s own expense, mostly for non-Thai travelers -
  • investigation: the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something - การสอบสวน
  • overreaction (noun): reacting too strongly, especially to something unpleasant - การมีปฏิกิริยารุนแรงเกินไป
  • panic: to have a sudden strong feeling of fear or worry that causes you to be unable to think clearly or calmly - ตื่นตกใจ
  • patient: someone who is receiving medical treatment - คนป่วย, คนไข้
  • rumoured: to be reported as a rumour (information that may or may not be true) - ปล่อยข่าวลือ,เล่าลือ,ซุบซิบ
  • sneak (verb): (past: snuck) to go somewhere secretly, trying to avoid being seen - เดินหลบ,เดินลับ ๆ ล่อ ๆ
  • superspreader: someone who can spread a virus and cause infection in many people with minimal contact -
  • take advantage of (verb): to use something to get some benefit or "advantage" from - ใช้เป็นประโยชน์
  • yacht: a large expensive boat that is often used for racing or sailing - เรือยอชท์, เรือท่องเที่ยว,เรือเที่ยวเล่น,เรือแข่ง
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