Doors to open to six groups of foreigners

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Six groups of foreigners will be allowed into Thailand with some who plan to stay for long periods having to self-quarantine at their own expense, said Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

A meeting of the CCSA chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday approved a proposal from the Foreign Affairs Ministry to allow them entry, Dr Taweesilp said.

They are spouses and children of those who have work permits issued by state agencies; foreigners married to Thais and their children; and those who have homes in the kingdom.

Those who seek medical procedures, such as infertility treatment and nose and eye cosmetic surgery, and their caretakers, will also be allowed entry, Dr Taweesilp said. However, those seeking treatment for Covid-19 will not be allowed in, he added.

"Only some medical tourism programmes, not all of them, will be permitted," Dr Taweesilp said.

Other groups include foreign students and their parents, and foreigners allowed to enter Thailand under special arrangements, such as guests of the government, investors and highly skilled workers, Dr Taweesilp said.

Travellers likely to be afforded these special arrangements will be from Japan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore on condition they enter a self-sponsored quarantine programme at private facilities at hotels arranged by the government, Dr Taweesilp said.

He said that those planning a long stay will have to pay for the costs of their quarantine facilities while short-term business visitors who are guests of government will be allowed to enter in groups of 10 and will have to be tested twice for the virus with double negative results required before arriving in Thailand.

State agencies which invite these visitors will have to deploy liaison officers, public health and security officials to accompany them and the visitors must pay for any costs incurred.

These short-term visitors will have to travel to pre-arranged venues and will not be permitted to go out to public venues or use public transport, Dr Taweesilp said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said yesterday health safety measures still have to be ironed out for Thai tourists going to other countries, and foreign tourists arriving here.

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