Whilst Thailand is approaching the so-called new ‘high season’, it is carefully planning to reopen its borders with a new scheme that allows foreign tourists into the country and stay for 3 months.
An additional extension of 180 days will be consented under the STV scheme (Special Tourist Visa), for a total of 270 days.
PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced yesterday in a conference that the cabinet had approved the STV in principle and it was aimed at long-staying tourists who intended to travel broadly around the country or utilise Thailand’s healthcare facilities.
The scheme is expected to start next month and last until November 2021.
PM Prayut described the scheme as a possible respond to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis. “I would like to call on the Thai people to support this project because it can contribute to the economy,” he said.
The PM added that those who are granted the special visa would still have to undergo the 14-day quarantine at a hospital or certified Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel upon their arrival.
Deputy government spokesperson Ms Traisuree Taisaranakul said the scheme was intended to attract foreign visitors and boost the tourism industry which was severely battered during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Ms Traisuree said the government was anticipating the scheme to provide one to three flights per week for STV tourists. “Long-staying visitors would be keen to travel to Thailand and undergo quarantine due to its success in bringing the coronavirus under control,” she added.
She expressed that the special visa would only be issued to foreigners who agreed to undergo the 14-day mandatory quarantine and comply with the country’s disease control measures.
Visitors must also have proof of their long-stay plans, such as paying for accommodation or evidence of ownership of residences or condominiums, where they will stay after completing their quarantine. A Covid-19-free certificate and valid travel and health insurance are also required.
Ms Traisuree reiterated that the special visa is valid for 90 days and costs 2,000 baht. It is extendable for a maximum of 180 days — 90 days for each extension, a total of 9 months ‘holiday in Thailand’. Interested travelers can apply at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Source: Bangkok Post