Thailand plans to allow some foreign travelers into the country starting next week, as it eases restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, a senior official said on Wednesday.
Short-term business travellers will be required to have a certificate showing they are free of the coronavirus, health insurance and to allow medical personnel to monitor them while in Thailand.
The first group of foreigners that have registered for a 14-day state quarantine are people with work permits, investors, and business people, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, spokesman for the government center for COVID-19 situation management.
The new measures will have to be approved by the government task force, which will meet on Monday, he said, adding that medical tourists would also be allowed in.
The Thai Aviation Authority has banned international commercial flights until the end of June, but said that some business trips could resume in July.
Travellers, however, may find it difficult to obtain virus-free certification due to limited testing and flights to Thailand because the pandemic has brought global air travel to a virtual standstill, with many airline fleets grounded.
- Tourists from countries with “travel bubble” arrangements will be allowed to travel in August, but they will be limited to a certain space in what the government calls “villa quarantine”.
Foreign arrivals this year are expected to be only around 8 million people, down from last year’s record of 39.8 million, the central bank had said.
Thailand has so far recorded 58 deaths related to COVID-19 among 3,157 infections, of which 3,026 patients have recovered.
The government on Wednesday also announced that schools, bars and massage parlours would also re-open next month, but with strict health guidelines.