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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawAre Thai Authorities Testing for COVID-19 in Work Permit Medical Exams?

Are Thai Authorities Testing for COVID-19 in Work Permit Medical Exams?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Work Permits in Thailand. We are specifically discussing this in the context of COVID-19 and the Government response associated therewith.

I have had a lot of questions from folks regarding both renewal and application for Thai Work Permits. These questions have stemmed from this basic premise which is "are they testing for COVID-19?" 

Well in point of fact and we have done a number of renewals of Work Permits and applications for that matter, especially here recently where we have got folks entering Thailand in B Visa status. People have asked us "Are they testing for COVID-19?" and the response is "well not that we have seen." The standard testing medical exam that is required for Work Permit issuance, at least as of the time of this video, does not require testing for COVID-19. 

Now that stated, a recent article from the Bangkok Post came to my attention and I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and share it here. This is from print edition, Bangkok Post and it is from November 8, 2020. So November 8th, 2020 print edition of the Bangkok Post. The article is titled: Krabi Case Confirmed as Low Risk Arrivals Enjoy Shorter Quarantine. Quoting directly: "A local case in Krabi was among 12 new COVID-19 patients reported yesterday raising Thailand's total infections to 3,830." Quoting further, and this is the relevant point here: "The local case was an Indian man, 37, who works at a restaurant in the southern resort province. He tested positive on Wednesday while taking a health test for a Work Permit." So again, as we have noted, the standard protocols for Work Permit medical exams don't include a COVID-19 test. Now exactly how that transpired remains to be seen. There is further information in this article. I urge you to go check it out. The article is titled: Krabi Case Confirmed as Low Risk Rivals Enjoy Shorter Quarantine. I suspect that is on the Bangkok Post website. They note that he is being treated, they note that all due consideration was taken with respect to trying to locate folks have been in contact with him. Thus far there have been no reports of anything that happened that has been of a negative consequence in the aftermath of this whole thing. 

That stated, it did sort of beg the question as "why was he being tested for COVID with respect to his Work Permit exam?" Hopefully we will see some further information come out on that later on. Long story short, with respect to all of our cases that we are seeing process, “No, COVID-19 testing is not part of that process”. It is our understanding the CCSA and specifically Dr. Taweesilp who is the main doctor for the CCSA, it has been our understanding that such protocols are not to be undertaken. Nothing in this article lead me to believe that they would be but people have asked me about this ever since they read this. This was on the front page of the Bangkok Post so my response is "no as of this time, Work Permit protocols associated with medical certification has not changed and it does not currently require COVID-19 testing." Could that change in the future? Yes certainly. Do I think it is likely?  Not really. Notwithstanding this situation I don't think it is very likely we are going to see a change in that protocol. 

That stated, we will update you on this channel if that situation evolves to change what we are currently reporting.