The government on Monday said 50,000 foreigners are expected to begin flying to Thailand starting Wednesday as part of the partial border reopening in the coronavirus pandemic, Khaosod English reported.
The travelers who registered for the journeys include about 30,000 people visiting for medical and wellness purposes. Others are business people who fall under the exemption granted by the government, which was expanded today to include six more groups of foreigners.
The new exempted arrivals include spouses and children of work permit holders, permanent residents, spouses and children of a Thai national, followers of a foreign patient, parents of foreign students, and business people travelling on a special agreement with the Thai government.
The initial phase was only restricted to patients seeking treatment in Thai hospitals and business travelers invited by Thai companies.
“Foreign patients in this case are not COVID-19 patients,” pandemic response center spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin said. “We only accept certain diseases and groups of patients such as cosmetic surgeries or fertility treatments. Thai doctors are famous for these treatments.”
Every traveler under the partial border reopening is required to undergo a self-funded isolation package at luxury hotels for 14 days, officials said.
About 700 people registered for the program on Wednesday, according to officials. But both the disease control department, which oversees quarantine measures, and the immigration bureau were unable to confirm how many of them have entered Thailand so far.
Thai Enquirer understands that the government is considering allowing business travelers to enter the country from a group of select countries. Those countries, according to sources within the CCSA, are Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia.
According to TE sources, the government is holding meetings whether to enforce a 14-day mandatory quarantine for business travelers or ask them to get a health certificate and Covid test before departure.
Foreign residents and foreign spouses are already being allowed to enter the country on a case-by-case basis but are required to enter state quarantine upon arrival.
The CCSA says it will review measures that will allow more residents and family members in but it is still being discussed.
Tourists are not yet being considered although negotiations for travel bubble agreements have been discussed within the CCSA.
Photo: Bangkok Post