More than 3,000 foreign teachers will enter Thailand for posts at private-run schools across the kingdom, and all will be required to undergo the mandatory Covid-19 quarantine procedure upon arrival, the Office of the Private Education Commission (Opec) said yesterday.
Attapon Truektrong, secretary-general of Opec, said strict measures will be applied, and the teachers are required to pay for alternative state quarantine (ASQ) services. No one will be allowed to teach without passing Covid-19 tests.
On Saturday evening, 165 Filipino teachers arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport on AirAsia Flight Z2 8287 and were immediately taken to ASQ facilities in Bangkok and the surrounding provinces, Mr Attapon said.
Although the Philippines still reports high numbers of new Covid-19 infections, Opec assured the public the teachers will be vetted before allowing to leave ASQ facilities.
Many Filipino teachers worked in Thailand before the Covid-19 struck. They have since returned to their country, waiting to return to work here.
Mr Attapon said some of the teachers have not been employed in Thailand before.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for arranging chartered flights for these teachers, in response to growing calls by private schools for foreign teachers, he said.
More foreign teachers will arrive from the United States, the Netherlands, Britain and Singapore, Mr Attapon added, saying their arrival has to be approved by the ministry and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
Thailand yesterday recorded three new confirmed cases of Covid-19, all of whom were detected among people in quarantine after arriving in Thailand. The kingdom has recorded 3,351 total cases with 58 deaths.
They were identified as 31-year-old Bangladeshi man; a 41-year-old Indian housemaid; and a Thai female hotel employee, 30.
In other news, Sirirurg Songsivilai, secretary-general of the National Research Council of Thailand, said the US State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have divided countries into groups based on the severity of their Covid-19 outbreak.
Thailand and New Zealand are among seven countries rated as having the lowest risk from Covid-19, he said.
However, the global Covid-19 situation remains critical, with almost 300,000 new infections recorded daily.
Several countries are struggling to deal with a second wave of infections, he said.