Migrant labour from neighbouring countries now allowed to return
The Ministry of Labour has been given the nod to allow migrant labour into the country and it has clarified on the guidelines. Department of Employment director-general Suchat Pornchaiwiseskul said that the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Wednesday had approved bringing foreign labourers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to work as per the Department’s proposal.
CCSA has approved two groups of foreign workers:
▪︎ 69,235 foreign workers who have work permits and work visas who have requested a re-entry visa to return to the country and have not returned;
▪︎ 42,168 foreign workers who do not have a work permit and visa but whose employers have submitted a demand letter to the country of origin.
Both groups of foreign workers must obtain a certificate that facilitates entry into the Kingdom and a medical certificate (Fit to Travel).
In the case of a foreign worker with a re-entry visa and a work permit, after Immigration provides them an entry permit and visa, the foreign workers must undergo Covid-19 examination at the Disease Control checkpoint immediately and must be quarantined for 14 days at Alternate Local Quarantine (ALQ).
In the case of foreign workers who do not yet have a work permit submitted by the employer for re-entry, once the immigration checkpoint has checked the immigration permit, the workers must be tested for Covid-19 and undergo six health check-ups, buy a two-year health insurance (in case they do not have social security) or three months of health insurance (in case they have social security) and spend 14 days in ALQ. During quarantine period, there will be training to give knowledge about regulations and living in Thailand to foreigners before starting work. Upon the expiration of 14 days in quarantine, the visa will be granted by the Immigration officer.
When both groups of migrant workers have been quarantined as required and no infection is found, employers can accept foreign workers to work including reporting to the provincial employment office in the area.
Cambodian workers are allowed to travel via Sa Kaeo province, Lao nationals via Nong Khai and Mukdahan provinces, Myanmar via Tak and Ranong provinces while Vietnamese workers must come by air and arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Employers and entrepreneurs are responsible for the cost of Covid-19 testing and the 14-day quarantine, approximately Bt13,200 to Bt19,300 per foreign worker, said Suchat.