The Thai cabinet approved a “Special Tourist Visa” (STV) scheme this week in principle.

Details are:

  • 14 day quarantine at a certified alternative state quarantine (ASQ) hotel or villa.
  • A minimum 90 days length of stay, 2 extensions of 90-days are possible.
  • Fit to fly medical certificate.
  • Proof of medical insurance covering at least USD 100k
  • Pass a criminal record check with the Royal Thai Police
  • They are expecting 1-3 chartered flights to land in Thailand/week, estimate 1,200 longstay tourists per month.

Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1985903/long-stay-tourism-in-sight

So…

  • Yes, this is a ridiculous plan given that countries such as Singapore now only require 7 day quarantine, in Sweden, Germany, Austria etc etc you can fly there from Thailand with a negative c-19 test and be allowed to roam around freely without being in quarantine.
  • Yes, the impact is going to absolutely minimal, given the potential numbers of visitors.
  • But it’s a start, and its positive that at the very least the ball is rolling and that the positive momentum will (hopefully) continue. 
  1. peter satrapa-binder

    ok, it’s a start but a VERY small one but more could be done. There also seem also to be quite a lot of expats who can’t get back in to Thailand with their existing visas – and they also spend money in thailand, maybe not as much per month as a well-heeled tourist (and any others can’t afford to come anyway with this new tourist visa), but very probably a larger total in the longer term…

    any why not make the country again more attractive for foreign retirees as long as they have enough money to spend (especially now that malaysia has put up quite high barriers for incoming and returning expats)?

    it’s a start but even with covid-19 not yet abating world wide, more could be done by Thailand…

  2. agree with your evaluation. so reflective of the timidity of a military dominated government. off topic; just read limited details the PTTOR IPO. Disappointed to see only 10% of the Offering will be allocated to PTT shareholders. Do you have an opinion as which is the best way to participate – hold PTT shares (which I do) or add to my cash position and subscribe to the IPO. I find it difficult to forecast how popular the IPO will be among foreign Funds, especially with the unknown investment climate post US election (which may take a week plus of uncertainty. Toss a coin? Tia.

    • also off-topic, don: the timidity also shows in the slow disbursements of government budgets – and again, reportedly there will be a delay of at least 1 month to decide the new yearly budget. and considering that government infrastructure projects are currently nearly the only thing still stimulating the economy (private companies’ construction projects are reported to be down; no wonder), that’s not boding well regarding a possible fast economic recovery.

      • Hi Peter, thanks for your comments. Yup what you say is very true – and yet the billionaires are still making hay.
        and…Thailand is one of the top in the positive foreign reserves table. I smile when I read articles that refer to ‘the five families’. I am reminded of all those gangster movies. I am reluctant to post an url link to a conprehensive analysis of how dubious the risks of covid are. But having read it, I would recommend opening up the country as fast as possible to tourists from a selection of countries, (e.g. including Sweden, Australia, New Zealand and all of the Asean countries). The economic damage exceeds the risks. Considering how often I get tested for temperature in a single day, and have my phone # logged electronically, the country should be allocating resources to a test and track system, combining it with the previous idea of issuing a sim card to every tourist, recording their passport ID and tracking it. I will need Pon’s ok – to post the url.

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