Air arrivals will have to pay for quarantine

Air arrivals will have to pay for quarantine

Passengers arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport from overseas, and head for quarantine. (file photo)
Passengers arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport from overseas, and head for quarantine. (file photo)

Health authorities plan to shut state quarantine facilities for people arriving from overseas by air at the end of June.

From July 1 air travellers would have to pay for their quarantine at alternative facilities, although the government would cover their medical costs under the proposal, which still needs final approval. 

Gen Nattapon Nakpanich, secretary-general of the National Security Council and operations head of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said on Friday the change was made necessary by the number of people who had abused the state quarantine system, travelling repeatedly in and out of Thailand.

Some people had made as many as 10 trips, placing an unnecessary financial burden on the state.

CCSA was looking for alternative state quarantine (ASQ) facilities with reasonable prices to serve the needs of air travelers, he said.

Some hotels have been functioning as ASQ facilities during the Covid-19 epidemic and have been the preferred choice for arrivals who can afford them.

Gen Nattapon said the withdrawal of state quarantine facilities would apply only for those arriving by air. They would have to select their ASQ facilities.

For people whose trips were necessary, the government organisations that supervise them would pay for their quarantine, he said, but did not elaborate.

He confirmed that arrivals must still quarantine for 14 days.

CCSA planned to apply the new measures on July 1, but still needed approval from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Gen Nattapon said.

To reduce the financial cost to air arrivals, he said, the government would pay their medical and health bills. They would pay only for accommodation and food during quarantine, Gen Nattapon said. That would lower the ASQ rates.

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