11 July 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha visited Thailand’s popular Samui resort island, in the country’s southern province of Surat Thani, today. He was there to evaluate the readiness of officials and equipment to cope with the arrival of foreign tourists carrying Special Tourist Visas (STV), as Thailand cautiously reopens to foreign visitors in bid to revive the economy devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said, during his briefing, that health screening and isolation of incoming tourists are key initial preventive measures, and that there are laboratories available for coronavirus testing and the tracing apps are available for tourists who have completed their mandatory quarantine on arrival. The app will mean they can travel freely and be traced wherever they are in Thailand.

The Minister also said that the preparatory measures include medical personnel, medicines and medical equipment, to make sure that the arrival of foreign tourists does not pose a threat to the health of Thai people or, if there are some infections among the tourists, the problem can be contained.

Recently, Phuket Island received the first group of about 140 Chinese tourists, who arrived on a chartered flight from Guangdong.

The National Communicable Diseases Committee has approved, in principle, a shortening of the mandatory quarantine for arrivals from abroad, from 14 to 10 days. The proposal is, however, yet to be approved by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), which is chaired by the Prime Minister.