Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said after the Cabinet meeting today that the government would issue special tourist visas for long-stay visitors. The most important condition would be a 14-day quarantine, reports the Bangkok Post.
“Visitors can arrive for tourism or health services, and they can stay at alternative state quarantine facilities, specific areas or at hospitals that function as quarantine facilities,” he said.
“Our public health system is amongst the best in the world and people can have confidence in it.”
The prime minister said the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) would later elaborate on the matter.
Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisaranakul said long-stay visitors would have to present proof of payment for their long stay in the country. This could be payment for a hotel reservation, or the lease of a condominium room.
“The target is to welcome 100-300 visitors a week, or up to 1,200 people a month, and generate income of about B1 billion a month,” she said.
The 90-day special tourist visa could be extended twice, for 90 days each time. Long-stay visitors could begin arriving next month, Ms Traisulee said.
Prasong Poontaneat, finance permanent secretary, said the country needed to generate income from visitors, especially those from the countries where coronavirus disease had not been spreading in past months – such as China, Taiwan and some countries in Europe.
Twenty Chinese provinces were free of COVID-19 and had a combined population of around 800 million. If only 1% of them, about 8 million people, visited Thailand they could support the tourism sector, he said.