Majority against opening country to foreigners: Poll

Majority against opening country to foreigners: Poll

A traveller walks away from a panel displaying outbound flight information at Suvarnabhumi airport on Wednesday. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
A traveller walks away from a panel displaying outbound flight information at Suvarnabhumi airport on Wednesday. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

A majority of people are still opposed to opening the country to foreigners who are not infected with Covid-19, reasoning that the global coronavirus situation is still very serious, according to a survey carried out by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was conducted on July 6-8 on 1,251 people aged 18 and over of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country.

A proposed "medical and wellness" programme would open the country to foreigners who test negative for Covid-19 to receive medical treatment. They would be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine before being allowed to return to their home countries.

A majority - 55.32% - disagreed with the programme. Of them, 41.41% strongly disagreed with it, saying those admitted could be carriers and cause a second wave of the pandemic,  while Thailand already has many infections imported by Thai returnees from abroad. Another 13.91% said they disagreed because the situation does not yet warrant the entry of foreigners. even if they have health certificates.

On the other side, 23.10% agreed, saying this would enhance the repuation of Thai medical facilities and spur the economy; and 21.58% moderately agreed, reasoning that measures taken by Thailand had proved effective against the Covid-19 spread.

A second proposed programme would allow those foreigners admitted for medical treatment to travel around Thailand after undergoing a 14-day quarantine. Asked about this second programme, 37.89% were totally against it and wanted Covid-19 to be 100% eradicated first because they had no confidence in the 14-day quarantine, while 14.55% disagreed with it, but less strongly, for fear of a second wave of the pandemic since Covid-19 was mostly imported by foreigners.

On the other side, 24.14% strongly supported the programme, saying it would help rehabilitate tourism and stimulate the economy, while another 23.26% somewhat agreed with it for showing confidence in Thai medical services.

The rest, 0.16%, had no comment or were not interested.

Asked about the travel bubble programme that would allow foreigners from countries free of Covid-19 to visit the country, a majority - 54.36% - supported it. Of that number, 25.90% strongly agreed, saying it would help spur the economy and revitalise the airline industry, while another 28.46% were in moderate agreement for the same reason.

On the other side, 29.65% strongly opposed the programme, and a further 14.95% were in moderate disagreement for fear of a second wave of the pandemic.

The rest, 10.4%, had no comment or were not interested.

Asked whether they were confident the government would be able to contain the spread of Covid-19 if foreigners were allowed into the country under these programmes, 59.63% were not confident while 39.33% were. The remaining 1.04% had no comment or were not interested.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (295)

BoT: Policy tightening will not disrupt recovery

Thailand's economy will continue growing this year and next, driven by a recovery in domestic demand and tourism, the central bank said on Monday.

13:15

Bangkok to have 33 seats at general election

Bangkok will have the most electoral seats up for grabs at the next general election, 33, followed by Nakhon Ratchasima with 16, according to the Election Commission's Facebook post on Monday.

13:07

Full vaccination, negative tests allow quick entry for arrivals

From July 1 travellers arriving by air must be fully vaccinated or test negative for Covid-19 to enter the country immediately, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.

12:21