BANGKOK: Thailand's public health ministry released detailed measures for travellers visiting the country as it intensified efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced on Saturday (Mar 14).
Travellers arriving in Thailand will be categorised into three groups for different levels of surveillance, TAT reported.
TRAVELLERS FROM THE DISEASE INFECTED ZONES
Travellers from the Disease Infected Zones, namely China – including Hong Kong and Macau – Italy, Iran and South Korea, are now required to apply for a visa before entering Thailand and to quarantine themselves upon arrival in the country.
Travellers in this group must also present a health certificate to prove they have no risk of the potentially deadly COVID-19 before they can be issued a boarding pass.
"If any passenger is unable to present such certificate, boarding shall be denied and the boarding pass shall not be issued," TAT said in its statement.
"During transit, all passengers must keep social-distancing and only stay in the area near the gate."
Upon arriving in Thailand, the travellers have to undergo the entry scanning and provide necessary information to officers at the quarantine office.
This also applies to people who have transited at an airport in a Disease Infected Zone for at least 12 hours or those who have passed through immigration in any of the countries and territories mentioned above.
According to TAT, the Thai government has put in place a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travellers in this category. They are required to self-quarantine at their accommodation for at least 14 days.
They are not allowed to leave their accommodation until the end of the infectious period or the reason for suspicion, unless approved by a disease control officer.
"Throughout the period of quarantine, travellers must record their own symptoms in the reporting system and monitor their symptoms strictly," TAT said.
"There will be a surveillance officer to closely monitor travellers’ symptoms."
TRAVELLERS FROM COUNTRIES WITH ON-GOING LOCAL TRANSMISSION
Travellers in the second category are those who enter Thailand from overseas destinations with on-going local transmission of COVID-19.
According to the latest list updated by the Disease Control Department on Mar 13, they include France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, the United States and certain cities in Japan, namely Hokkaido, Tokyo, Aichi, Wakayama, Kanagawa, Chiba, Okinawa, Kyoto and Osaka.
"Travellers arriving from the countries with ongoing local transmission are required to be under observation (supervision without quarantine) in order to ensure self-monitoring for no less than 14 days until the end of the infectious period or the reason for suspicion," TAT said.
They must also record their own symptoms in the reporting system and monitor their symptoms strictly as required by the public health ministry.
"The traveller must notify the disease control officer about the places he/she visits, so that a surveillance officer can closely monitor his/her movement and contacts," TAT added.
If they feel ill or suspect to have a fever accompanied by cough, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath within 14 days after arriving in Thailand, they are required to inform a disease control officer in order to be "tested, treated, clinically diagnosed, isolated or quarantined".
TRAVELLERS FROM OTHER DESTINATIONS
Travellers from other destinations are now required to undergo the usual entry and exit screening, and advised to follow health recommendations. They include:
- Avoid going to crowded places
- Avoid staying close to people who have respiratory disease symptoms
- Consume cooked food
- Use serving spoons
- Wash hands
- Wear cloth masks to prevent themselves from contracting COVID-19
According to TAT, the Disease Control Department currently conducts a COVID-19 surveillance protocol with travellers at 46 quarantine offices.
They include six international airports - Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket and Krabi - six seaports in Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Chiang Saen, Phuket, Samui and Krabi, and 34 ground ports or border checkpoints.
On Saturday, Thailand reported seven new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 82.
Forty-six patients are receiving medical treatment in hospitals, 35 others have been discharged and one person had died.