The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced today that it has approved, in principle, allowing in additional groups of foreigners to Thailand as part of the upcoming “Phase Six” of loosening restrictions and rules originally put into place due to the Covid-19 crisis.
The groups that will soon be allowed to enter the country are: Thai Elite Visa holders, Medical tourists, Migrant workers from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, film production crews, foreign exhibitors in the convention center industry and select business people.
This is in addition to eleven groups already allowed entry to the country, which can be found here. It is important to note that general tourism is still banned and borders and commercial flights still closed.
The exact dates for when these groups can enter were not announced and may vary based on the groups. Those interested in general should begin to contact their local embassies or consulates. Migrant workers should contact their employer who can start the process. Thai Elite Visa holders should contact their designated customer service representative to start the process. It is also important to note that all of these are “case by case” approvals and just because one falls into a group does not mean they can just book a flight and arrive.
All groups will face mandatory 14 day state quarantines, including diplomats, although Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin of the CCSA said that migrant workers quarantines will not be at state quarantine or alternative state quarantine but at designated “special quarantine” facilities for migrants. He did not go into depth on these “special quarantine” places but did state that they would follow disease control standards and migrants would not be able to leave the “special quarantine” under any circumstance. He also said that migrants would not quarantine individually or alone as it was not cost effective and would be grouped together. He did not say how large the groups would be.
Over 100,000 foreign migrant workers from nearby border countries are expected to return, according to Dr. Taweesin. Some already have visas and work permits, others would be applying through their employer. Most are working in construction sectors, he added.
The Pattaya news notes, as in the photo above, that increasing numbers of migrant workers sneaking into the country for employment have been taking place daily, especially near Sa Kaeo. Dr. Taweesin said the CCSA is aware of this and hoping that by providing a proper process this will lessen the amount of those entering against the law and with no health checks or quarantine.