Thais returning from high-risk areas to face legal action if they don’t self-quarantine
Thailand’s Disease Control Department (DCD) has issued a stern warning, to all Thais returning from high-risk areas, that failure to observe the 14-day self-quarantine requirement will result in legal action being taken, in accordance with the Communicable Disease Act.
DCD director general Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai’s warning follows concerns, raised on social media, that some Thais returning from South Korea, one of the four countries formally designated as a dangerous infectious disease zone by the Thai Ministry of Public Health, did not observe the 14-day self-quarantine measure and went dining, shopping and sightseeing.
Dr. Suwanchai said that it is necessary to tighten up the self-quarantine measures for all Thais returning from the high-risk areas, including those returning to Thailand prior to the declaration of the dangerous infectious disease zones, who are not legally required to observe self-quarantine.
He said that the Public Health Ministry has the full list of all such Thai returnees and he warned that they will be dealt with according to the law, if they do not confine themselves to home for 14 days.
In a recent Facebook post, the manager of a restaurant in downtown Chiang Rai said that he ordered the restaurant closed on March 5th for a big clean-up, after he learned that one of the customers had just returned from South Korea.
He added that, if necessary, he would have all the staff sent for tests to make sure that they are not infected by COVID-19.
The unidentified customer offered an apology in a Facebook post, claiming that he had been cleared of the virus by immigration officials upon arrival at the airport.
In another Facebook post, a Thai woman, who recently returned from South Korea, admitted that she went outside in Phuket and did not strictly observe the self-quarantine measure, claiming that she was not an illegal worker and went through the screening process upon arrival from South Korea.
She offered an apology for causing inconvenience and concern to several people and promised to confine herself to home and to see a doctor for tests after the completion of the quarantine period.