By the end of June, the government plans to phase out free state-provided quarantined accommodation facilities for Thai nationals repatriated from overseas. Previously, the government provided accommodation and medical care for all Thais returning from other countries to their home country.
Under a new proposal from the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, starting July 1, state quarantine facilities will close and all people arriving by air will have to pay for their stay in quarantine at alternative facilities. They said this proposal only applies to travelers arriving by air at one of Thailand’s international airports. They didn’t mention the rules for those arriving by land.
Thais still had the same option to switch from basic accommodation and food provided at state quarantine facilities to ASQ hotels. Many did.
The CCSA has investigated other reasonably priced state quarantine hotels and facilities to help with this transition away from free accommodation for Thai nationals. As many foreigners who have been discouraged from coming here know, hotels that have converted to operate as ASQ facilities are often extremely expensive, making a trip to Thailand, even with 14 days of quarantine, prohibitive.
The cheapest 14-day quarantine hotels in Bangkok, including food (sometimes not very good food), were around 30,000-35,000 baht.
The secretary general of the National Security Council who works as the CCSA’s chief of operations said the end of this program was necessary for financial reasons. They cited the widespread abuse of free hosting as the reason it was not sustainable. People repeatedly traveled in and out of Thailand and got 2 weeks of free accommodation each time. People have been caught taking up to 10 trips this way and abusing the system.
The CCSA has confirmed that the 14-day quarantine policy will not go away with this change, only the free accommodation option for Thai nationals will no longer be available. The proposed plan would still cover all medical expenses like Covid testing and treatment of positive cases. But all arrivals would now be responsible for paying for their own food and accommodation during quarantine.
The CCSA has hinted that exceptions are possible, saying people traveling out of necessity may receive help from overseeing government organizations, which may pay for quarantined accommodation.
The proposal is not yet official, however, and will still need to be approved by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha before the CCSA can implement it.
For more information on how to enter Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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