Anutin lauds plan for 'wellness quarantine'

Anutin lauds plan for 'wellness quarantine'

Foreign visitors to get deluxe services

Thailand plans to provide wellness-orientated state quarantine for foreign visitors coming from low-risk countries, said Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

Those on the so-called wellness state quarantines will be privy to Thai massages, spa services and playing golf, during a quarantine period which is expected to be reduced from 14 to 10 days.

This scheme will focus on visitors coming from low-risk Covid-19 countries and territories, including China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Visitors for long-term medical services, who will stay in the country for at least a few months, are among the target visitors for this scheme.

The government will allow massage, spa and golf operators to apply to participate in offering their services for this scheme within one month. All foreigners visiting the massage and spa parlors will be strictly monitored under social distancing and anti-pandemic measures, Mr Anutin said.

The Department of Consular Affairs yesterday revealed that there have been about 1,000 Thais living abroad and foreigners who have been allowed to enter the kingdom per day. The ratio between Thais and foreigners is half and half.

"At the beginning of the year, the number was limited to 200 per day, but as the Covid situation improved, it has gone up to 500 per day and now it is 1,000 per day," said Chatri Archjananun, the department's director-general. Thailand has recently allowed new groups of foreigners to enter the kingdom as part of efforts to boost tourism and help stimulate economic activities, he said.

They are people who wish to have medium-term and long-term stays in Thailand, businessmen and investors, Apec Business Travel Card (ABTC) holders and tourists under the Special Tourist Visa (STV).

Mr Chatri said people who wish to have medium-term and long-term stays in Thailand can apply for non-immigrant visa categories O-A and O-X. Applicants must be aged 50 years and over and must have no intention of working.

Copies of bank statements showing deposits over the past six months of no less than 800,000 baht, or the equivalent, are required for the O-A visa, while applicants for the O-X visa are required to show bank deposits over the past six months of no less than 3 million baht, or the equivalent. Holders of the O-A visa are allowed to stay in Thailand for one year and holders of the O-X visa are allowed to stay in the kingdom for 10 years.

For businessmen and investors, non-immigrant visas of various types can be issued for those who do not have work permits. Invitations from the Thailand Board of Investment or companies with more than 2 million baht of registered capital are required.

Additionally, an estimated 100,000 ABTC holders -- businessmen screened and approved by 18 Apec countries -- will be allowed in. They will be coming from low-risk countries, such as New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, he said.

Tourists seeking to visit Thailand for both short- and long-term stays can also enter. Foreigners wanting to stay for 60 days, with the option of a 30-day extension, can apply for the STV. They must have copies of bank statements showing deposits over the past six months of no less than 500,000 baht.

All groups are also required to have the following documents: Certificate of Entry (COE) issued by the Thai embassy or consulate in the current location; Fit to Fly Certificate issued by relevant authorities and a negative Covid-19 medical test result. This must be issued no longer than 72 hours before the date of travel. Health insurance covering treatment and medical expenses with a minimum coverage of US$100,000 should also be included.

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