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ResourcesThailand Criminal LawCriminal Jurisprudence ThailandWhat If I Violate Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) Rules in Thailand?

What If I Violate Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) Rules in Thailand?

Transcripts of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing possible violation of rules in Alternative State Quarantine in Thailand. I am about to read some correspondence that was sent to us regarding this overall question but just some backstory here. The person that is asking about this basically got put into a bad situation where they thought they were coming in to do the 7-Day quarantine. They had done all their vaccinations and they got caught in the seam if you will. For those who are unaware, Thailand did impose a shorter quarantine period briefly starting back in April. That ended because, well they cited the "third wave" here in Thailand and basically re-imposed 14-day quarantine across the board. So this person got caught out in a bad situation. They basically had to go through the prolonged quarantine when they thought they were going to be able to only have to do the truncated quarantine. 

So quoting directly here: "My question for your channel is what are the penalties for violations of ASQ compliance such as leaving my room, (I am not locked in) to go to the lobby for example? I have to meet the doctor in the lobby for my COVID test per scheduled appointments but what happens if I leave my room for a brief bit of exercise to walk around or something else? I have searched the internet and I cannot find any reference of penalties for violating the hotel ASQ compliance requirements. Are these requirements set in Thai Law? I have no desire to break any rules but being locked in a room for 14 days is like solitary confinement and seems overly strict for vaccinated people with multiple negative COVID tests. I thought this might be a good topic to discuss if you were in search of ideas for your content on YouTube. Keep up the great work; I follow your channel daily." Thanks for that.

A couple of things. I do truly understand the solitary confinement notion. Regarding “Are these requirements set in Thai Law?” Let's be clear. Alternative State Quarantine requirements and other things associated with the current travel restrictions for coming in to Thailand were promulgated and came into effect under the Emergency Decree in March 2020. These are not operating under the normal codified Thai Law regarding travel to Thailand. I have gotten into some other videos on this channel; I think this person may have watched some of these especially with respect to certain restrictions here in Thailand where I brought up the fact that they are saying that there is Law behind it but where is this Law? Oftentimes they end up citing the Emergency Decree which I have an issue with especially here in Thailand depending on the set of circumstances. That is not at all pertinent to this video. Yes the ASQ regime if you want to call it that, came about directly as a result of the Emergency Decree but understand we are talking about this in an international travel context relating to international travel and quarantine. That is a horse of a very different colour compared to just standard domestic Thai matters okay? First and foremost let's get that out of the way first. We have quoted at length a lot of the sections of the Communicable Diseases Act out there which I think a number of them pertain directly to folks that are waiting in quarantine having traveled from abroad. In fact I have quoted on this channel specific text to that effect already. The other thing is the Emergency Decree pertained directly to international travel; well one of the main thrusts of it was about that specifically. Yeah, there are not a lot of codified penalties out there associated with this but you are dealing with the Emergency Decree. What I am saying is thinking about violating the ASQ rules in my opinion is playing with fire because in a sense you are not even fully admitted to Thailand yet, especially as a foreigner. You may be on Thai soil, you may be even stamped in by Immigration but you are sitting in quarantine. You haven't been released. So at the very minimum, the penalty for violating ASQ is deportation. In fact I would bet it would be something akin to what we call expedited removal in the US Immigration context but it would just be summary deportation like, "look you violated the rules regarding quarantine, you are just gone." It could result in a blacklisting. 

Long story short, notwithstanding the fact that there not a lot of codified penalties that say “oh if you leave your room you have to pay this fine”, or ”if you leave your room you are going to do more time in quarantine” or something, notwithstanding the fact that may not be codified, in the specific circumstances of quarantine you are in very much a legal limbo which in my opinion very clearly is covered under the Emergency Decree and the Communicable Diseases Act. Do not mess with these rules lightly because if you are in that situation and you are deemed to be in violation, I think at the minimum they would just deport you. I think that would probably be the easiest way to deal with it if it was a real problem. Now do I suspect that they are going out of their way to, I don't even want to get into hypotheticals, but do I think they are specifically going out of their way to be like a prison warden? No, but at the same time these rules have been put in for a particular purpose and I think they are going to be pretty stringent in adhering to and enforcing those rules. So again messing around with even the thought of violating ASQ rules in my opinion is kind of playing with fire.