Envoy refused entry to quarantine condo

Envoy refused entry to quarantine condo

Tighter covid rein on arriving foreign diplomats

The arrival zone of Suvarnabhumi airport. Authorities says foreign diplomats must wait for a negative Covid-19 test result before leaving the airport, and stricter measures are in the pipeline. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
The arrival zone of Suvarnabhumi airport. Authorities says foreign diplomats must wait for a negative Covid-19 test result before leaving the airport, and stricter measures are in the pipeline. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Disease controls are being tightened for arriving foreign diplomatic staff, the Foreign Ministry announced on Friday, as it emerged a European diplomat was refused entry by the management of a condominium building on Thursday night.

Ministry spokesman Cherdkiat Atthakor said on Friday the Bangkok-based  "Western diplomat" had returned from leave in his homeland.

The diplomat departed Frankfurt at 10pm on Wednesday and arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport at 2pm on Thursday.

The diplomat tested negative for Covid-19 before boarding the plane and again after landing at Suvarnabhumi airport, the spokesman said.

As required, the diplomat waited for the test result at Suvarnabhumi airport before leaving there for the residence assigned for quarantine by the embassy, Mr Cherdkiat said.

However, the management of the condominium refused entry, and the Foreign Ministry had the diplomat move to a hotel for the night.

Mr Cherdkiat, director-general of the ministry's information department, said  the diplomat proved to be free of Covid-19 and had observed the regulations of Thailand, which allowed diplomats to be quarantined at assigned residences for 14 days. The condominium in question was an assigned quarantine place, he said.

"Measures are being tightened for diplomats. Right now, this is a transitional period," Mr Cherdkiat said.

After the Covid-19 case of the arriving daughter of the Sudanese attaché, the government had asked foreign diplomats to wait for a negative test result before leaving the arrival airports. The diplomat had complied on Thursday, he said.

"We are aware of the feeling of Thai society, which wants to be free of covid," he said. Other foreign diplomats would be arriving, but their numbers would be limited.

According to media reports the diplomat refused entry to the condo is Estonian and works for the European Union.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said the diplomat  was instead quarantined at Grande Centre Point Terminal 21 hotel - an alternative state quarantine facility where people pay for their own accommodation and treatment. A private hospital supervises the quarantine at the hotel.

He said the diplomat reached the hotel at 11pm on Thursday. He confirmed that foreign diplomats must go into quarantine on arriving in Thailand.

On Friday afternoon, the government's Covid-19 information centre confirmed on its Facebook page that the diplomat was the first secretary of the Delegation of the European Union in Thailand, and was Estonian.


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