Friday, October 30, 2020

Thailand targeting seven-day quarantine for tourists

Oct 07. 2020
Kiattiphum Wongrajit, ministry permanent secretary
Kiattiphum Wongrajit, ministry permanent secretary
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By The Nation

Thailand is seeking ways to shorten the 14-day quarantine for foreign tourists to attract more arrivals as the country opens up.

The Public Health Ministry has instructed the Disease Control Department (DCD) to plan appropriate quarantine periods.

Kiattiphum Wongrajit, ministry permanent secretary, said on Wednesday that the country is mulling shorter quarantine periods to encourage more foreign tourists.

Thailand is desperate to relaunch its tourist industry to boost an economy shrinking fast under the impact of Covid-19. The country is currently open to certain groups of Thais and foreigners (diplomats, businesspeople, etc) but all face mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The DCD has been tasked with estimating the effectiveness of different quarantine periods in preventing the spread of Covid-19. Given a baseline of 14 days quarantine as 100 per cent effective, the department will estimate the effectiveness of quarantine periods of 12 days, 10 days and seven days.

The ministry is targeting a 10-day quarantine, which it wants to propose to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration in the next two weeks.

The effectiveness of the shortened quarantine period will be assessed after one month. If the Covid-19 situation is still under control, it will be shortened further.

However, not all visitors will enjoy the same shortened quarantine. Those from high-risk countries will still be subject to 14-day quarantine, while those from low-risk countries might eventually be subject to only seven days.

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