However, currently only two of the 14 hotels have been inspected and approved by health officials as ready to receive quarantine guests, Phuket Vice Governor Phichet Panaphong explained at a meeting of the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee held at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday (July 22).
“The Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villa and Trisara Phuket Villa and Residences have already passed official evaluation. While Sri Panwa Phuket Villas is now being evaluated,” he said.
V/Gov Phichet explained that such visitors will arrive in the country at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, before being allowed to transit to Phuket.
Hotels that want to be designated as an ALSQ must send a formal letter of request directly to the Phuket Governor’s Office, he said.
V/Gov Phichet also ordered Phuket Public Health Office (PPHO) officers to research what will be required and to set up a team to ensure all health regulations are adhered to, and that arrivals are transferred directly from the airport to their preferred hotel.
“Visitors can choose where they want to be quarantined for 14 days, but they must pay all costs by themselves,” V/Gov Phichet said.
The idea of setting up a special COVID-19 screening lab at the airport was floated at the meeting, but dismissed as unnecessary as the arrivals will be screened on landing in Bangkok and then placed in 14-day quarantine on arrival in Phuket, said a report of the meeting by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket).
The move to start approving ALSQ venues follows CCSA Spokesperson Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin announcing yesterday that four categories of foreign nationals will be allowed to enter Thailand, but they must spend 14 days in quarantine and comply with public health measures against COVID-19.
The four categories include 1) foreigners participating in trade fairs in Thailand, 2) foreign film crew coming for filming in Thailand, 3) foreign workers from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar for food and construction industries, and 4) foreign visitors for medical and wellness services.
The Ministry of Labour proposed that organisational quarantine be arranged for foreign workers from the three neighboring countries in order to reduce costs for employers and that this group of foreign nationals must undergo standard COVID-19 tests.
Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha urged the people not to be worried about the issue of allowing more foreign nationals to enter Thailand.
Strict public health measures must be implemented. The public will be provided with better understanding about the situation. Accurate information and better understanding would help prevent the spread of fake news and misinformation, PM Prayut said.
Meanwhile, the Labour Ministry has announced that it would handle details for bringing in unskilled workers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar to meet the demand for labour.
This included 69,235 workers who already had work permits and visas and wanted to return to work in Thailand. Local employers planned to bring in another 42,168 workers who do not already have work permits or visas. They would be employed in the construction and food production sectors, reported the Bangkok Post.
The companies demanding these workers would have to arrange for "organisational quarantine" at their own premises, where each room could accommodate more than one worker for cost effectiveness. Such quarantine facilities must meet disease control standards and be able to prevent migrant workers from getting out during quarantine.
Conventional state quarantine, in which a room served only one person, would cost nearly B20,000 per person and that was not wanted by the companies, Dr Taweesin said yesterday.