In its latest move to help welcome back the economically crucial tourist baht, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health has put forward a new form of ‘Alternative State Quarantine’ (ASQ) in a bid to bring back short stay travellers by including the option to travel in and around pre-designated areas during the official period of quarantine.
The current period of quarantine in place in Thailand is 14-days.
According to the Director General of Thailand’s Health Service Support Department, Mr. Thares Krassanairawiwong, this option is already being discussed in areas of the country ready to reopen and get back to business.
If cleared, and having done through further discussions by local governments and related businesses, the proposal will then be put forward to those resident in each of the affected provinces prior to final approval.
Visitors permitted to avail themselves of the new ASQs will still be limited to nations seen as ‘low-risk’ by the central government in Bangkok, essentially meaning that no domestic transmissions had been recorded in the previous three months, and would be limited to strict travel routes and destinations Mr. Thares said.
One further criteria will require visitors to the Kingdom to quarantine themselves at home prior to departure for Thailand, although no immediate mention was made on how this might be structured.
Only cleared hotels will be able to host the foreign visitors and no interaction with locals when travelling will be allowed.
Despite the rather overbearing regulations, a number of Thai provinces have already shown an interest in working with the new ASQ measures, most notably Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Phuket – all hugely popular tourist destinations prior to the hit to the global travel industry caused by the pandemic.