The Ministry of Public Health says more knowledge of COVID-19 has enabled this shortened quarantine, however persons given this shortened quarantine option will continue to be tracked until the 14th day after their arrival, reports state news agency NNT.
Dr Sopon said the new 10-day duration of quarantine was arrived at after consideration of the most common duration of the onset of COVID-19 symptoms at five to seven days, meaning that most people will start showing symptoms about a week after contracting the virus, while most people who test positive to the virus after 10 days are mostly asymptomatic, and carry a lower chance of spreading the virus to other people.
Dr Sopon reassured that the option of a 10-day quarantine will be available only to travelers from lower-risk countries, most of which are in the Asean region. These travelers will still be subject to pre-departure screening processes in the country of origin, with only people who test negative being allowed to travel.
Travelers will then be tested for the virus at the airport on arrival, and immediately taken into quarantine, during which they will be swab-tested again on the third, fifth and ninth day, plus two blood tests to detect antibodies against the virus. All of these tests must return negative for a person to complete quarantine after 10 days, he said.
Travelers who have cleared the 10-day quarantine must strictly observe personal protective measures for the following 11-14 days after arrival to reduce infection risks. Health authorities may also keep track of their whereabouts using an application or tracking wristband, he added.