CCSA mulls 'reopening doors'

CCSA mulls 'reopening doors'

A Thai national arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport yesterday on a Covid-19 repatriation flight pushes a trolley as she is ushered to the right direction by airport staff. A total of 158 Thai people arrived from 13 countries yesterday.Wichan Charoenkiatpakul
A Thai national arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport yesterday on a Covid-19 repatriation flight pushes a trolley as she is ushered to the right direction by airport staff. A total of 158 Thai people arrived from 13 countries yesterday.Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

Investors and businessmen based in Thailand, along with medical tourists, would probably be the first foreigners allowed in when the kingdom gradually reopens its doors to outsiders, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) confirmed yesterday.

Spokesman for the CCSA Tawee­silp Visanuyothin said these two groups of foreigners who would be allowed in first as the country has had no local community infections for 28 days.

The 28-day milestone for local transmissions was important because four weeks is thought to be the maximum period of time the virus can live in a person without symptoms showing, he said.

However, he said the country cannot lower its guard, because a single imported case -- of which there were three yesterday -- could trigger a local outbreak.

The first group who would be allowed in comprises businessmen, investors, skilled workers, experts, migrant workers, and medical tourists who have agreed to enter state quarantine on arrival in the country.

In this batch, 700 investors and businessmen have already requested entry. About 22,000 highly skilled workers and experts, 2,000 foreigners waiting to return to their Thai families, along with 30,000 medical tourists have also requested to enter Thailand, Dr Taweesilp said.

Medical tourists would be among those who go directly to hospitals, where they would be quarantined and receive other medical treatment at the same time, the spokesman added.

The second group comprises short-term businessmen and guests. The CCSA would look for measures to allow them to bypass the quarantine requirement. Tourists from countries with travel bubble pacts with Thailand, including China, Japan and South Korea are also in this group, he said.

The government reported three new coronavirus cases and no new deaths yesterday taking the total number of infections in Thailand to 3,151 with 58 deaths since January.

The three new cases were Thai nationals returning from India and were detected in state quarantine in Chon Buri on Saturday, said Dr Taweesilp.


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