Thailand’s Foreign Ministry has clarified the details of the issuing of the Special Tourist Visa for long-stay foreign tourists. Saying the most important requirement is they applicants cannot come from high risk Covid-19 countries.
The Special Tourist Visa scheme is a part of the state’s bid to revitalize Thailand’s Hotel and Tourism Industry. Prospective Special Tourist Visa applicants are being advised to check which countries’ citizens are being permitted by the Public Health Ministry to travel into Thailand.
The Interior Ministry on Sept 30 said applicants of the Special Tourist Visa will be allowed to first stay in the country for 90 days. They can then renew the visa twice for 90 days each time. The Special Tourist Visa program was launched on Thursday.
The ministry has stressed to Thai embassies and consular offices overseas the importance of processing the Special Tourist Visa accurately. Also disseminating information to prospective travellers.
Documents required include a certificate of eligibility
Proof of payment for state or hospital quarantine for 14 days; full payment for post-quarantine accommodation or ownership of accommodation; a Thai health and accident insurance policy with at least 400,000 baht inpatient coverage and 40,000 baht outpatient coverage; and a health insurance policy with at least US$100,000 (3.16 million baht) coverage for Covid-19 treatment.
Despite the delay in tourists under the special tourist visa, Thailand’s Tourism Ministry vows to bring in 1,200 long-stay travellers in October. Thailand approved the special tourist visa on Sept 15, the scheme was officially endorsed on Sept 29th.
Tourism Ministry Promises Hotels More Tourists
Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said the first two groups under the special tourist visa were from China. They had a prospective schedule of Oct 8th, however the government need to settle some entry processes. The itineraries have to be rescheduled to another date in October,” he told the Bangkok Post.
But since this visa type is relatively new, authorities also need more time to ensure a smooth process at the originating locations.
Mr Phiphat insisted that the delay would not affect the special tourist visa entire plan. Under which Thailand is set to welcome at least 1,200 tourists. The ministry will monitor the first 30-day operation before deciding when to proceed with the next step: Reducing the quarantine period to seven days.
Public still wary of the reopening plan
Foreign tourists coming via the special tourist visa pose a minor ricks he said. The tourists have to fly in with traceable flights to designated destinations. Unlike illegal border crossings, which are riskier. We should put more efforts into preventing possible infections from those channels,” he said.
Mr Phiphat acknowledged requests from the private sector, particularly by the Association of Thai Travel Agents, to shorten or remove the quarantine period altogether. Above all to attract short-stay visitors from low-risk countries.
He said it’s too soon to act on that idea.
“The so-called 14-7-6 formula [for 14-day, seven-day and six-hour quarantines] is on our radar. We need to see how it goes step by step,” Mr Phiphat said. “The most important factor is that nobody in local communities will be happy to let foreign tourists visit their towns without quarantine.”
He also wanted to make clear that any province hosting alternative local state quarantine (ALSQ) facilities can be a destination for long-stay travellers. Not just Phuket and Samui as some reports have suggested, he said.
Thapanee Kiatphaibool, deputy governor for tourism products and business at the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said only Bangkok and Phuket can receive special tourist visa tourists in October. Above all because tourists are required to fly into a city that has an international airport and ALSQ facilities.
Phuket has already increased the number of ALSQ facilities from three to nine hotels, Mrs Thapanee said. But hotels in Samui are still awaiting certification.
So the primary destinations can only be Bangkok and Phuket for now, she said
Alternative State Quarantine Thailand
Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) is the process of mandatory quarantine at government-approved hotels in Thailand at the traveler’s own expense. For non-Thai nationality travelers, many hotels together with hospitals launched Alternative State Quarantine Packages for those returning from abroad.
The hotels that have been approved by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Defense, cover a wide price range from 28,000 THB (about 900 USD) to 220,000 THB (about 7,000 USD) for the two-week quarantine. You will be staying for the 14-day mandatory quarantine in Bangkok with better facilities, good atmosphere, in clean and safe environment.
Normally, the package includes 3 meals per day, free WiFi, complimentary welcome drinks, and private car transfer from either Don Mueang Airport or Suvarnabhumi Airport. A nurse is on call 24/7, and you will have your temperature taken and health checked 2 times per day. The package also includes two COVID-19 tests that take place on the 5th and 13th day of quarantine. If you have a fever of 37.5 degrees or more, you will be transferred to the hospital.
Alternative State Quarantine ASQ Covid-19 packages
The ASQ package does not include consultation costs with doctors, transportation costs. Other than the airport pick-up. Any other treatments at the hospital other than the two COVID-19 tests is extra. However, it depends on terms and conditions of each hotel. Please, check with the hotel before booking.
You can read ASQ hotel reviews for getting a better idea about how this quarantine experience in each hotel looks like as it is really different from the normal stay you would experience at that hotel.
If you don’t want to waste your time exploring all the features and reviews of 77 ASQ hotels. That are currently providing quarantine service in Bangkok. We can help you to find the ones that could fit your needs. For doing this, fill up the form and send us your inquiry.
People looking for ASQ hotels or staying at one of them are also welcome to join Facebook group Thailand ASQ Hotels to ask questions, write reviews and reach all updates about Alternative State Quarantine hotels in one place.