The Thai Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, told the press this afternoon that a proposal he made that first garnered attention this morning to propose China and South Korea being removed from a list of dangerous disease zones has been approved “in principle” by the Covid19 Center for Situation Administration but needed final approval.
Meanwhile, CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin confirmed the proposal had been made and that agreement on certain procedures were still pending.
The proposal would, in theory, be the first baby steps to allow visitors from those countries to return to Thailand in the future.
Anutin stated that very strict health procedures would still take place and that the public should “not worry” as both of these countries had taken significant steps, like Thailand, to control the Covid-19 Coronavirus and many checkpoints and steps would be taken if visitors were allowed to enter Thailand from these countries.
Dr. Taweesin added that all regulations currently were the same, including a current ban on all international travel until the end of May. Currently, the Thai Government is only allowing repatriated Thai’s to re-enter the country and doing so at a cautious pace due to the amount of state quarantine rooms available.
Dr. Taweesin also said that strict regulations, like fourteen day quarantines, medical checks and other procedures would take place at this time for anyone entering the country in alignment with current regulations.
Citizens and expats online, however, noted that the prediction that China would likely be one of, if not the, first countries allowed to return to Thailand is seemingly coming true after being the first country to ban international tour groups and remove its citizens at the start of the outbreak in January.
The Pattaya News notes that possibly removing the designation of South Korea and China as disease related zones does not guarantee citizens of those countries will be allowed entry or foreign flights will take place anytime in the immediate future. With the proposed requirement of a mandatory fourteen day quarantine it is unlikely tour groups would be back anytime soon, although individual long term travelers could be in the future.