Thailand to launch ‘area quarantine' for foreign tourists next month


The government on Thursday unveiled its “area quarantine” plan to open Thailand to foreign tourists from next month.

Area quarantine will be piloted in five provinces popular with foreign tourists – Chiang Mai, Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani (Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan) and Chon Buri (Pattaya).

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn revealed details of the plan after meeting with the Public Health Ministry and 216 tourism operators.

Under the plan’s timeline, tourists will quarantine in their rooms for the first three days and then be swab-tested for Covid-19 at their hotel.

If they test negative, they will be granted access to the whole hotel or resort until their 14-day quarantine ends.

After 14 days they will be tested again. If no infection is found they will be allowed to travel freely through the quarantine area.

The plan will be operated via 29 travel agencies supervised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Revenue from foreign tourists generated Bt2 trillion of Thailand’s total Bt3.01-trillion tourism trade in 2019. Tourism accounted for around 17 per cent of GDP in 2019.