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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawA Glimpse of Post COVID-19 Protocols for Foreigners Entering Thailand?

A Glimpse of Post COVID-19 Protocols for Foreigners Entering Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the possible protocols which may be brought into place in the aftermath of COVID-19 for inbound foreign tourists or inbound foreigners who are coming back to Thailand possibly to take up for example Permanent Residence or to retake up their lawful status as a Non-immigrant, for example somebody who has a Thai Business Visa especially those who are on a Thai Business Visa extension or multiple entry Thai Business Visa. Also another example, retirees here in Thailand; folks who have an OA Visa or an O Visa based on retirement and finally also those who are on a Thai O Visa based on marriage. All of these folks may be coming in in the aftermath of the lock-down on flights coming into Thailand due to COVID-19. 

I wanted to share some insight I found in a recent article from the Nation. That is nationthailand.com, the article is titled  Tears and Heartbreak As Flight Ban Keeps Farang-Thai Families Apart. I urge those who are watching this video to check out that article. There is a lot of detail and insight provided therein. Quoting directly: "The authorities however are letting Thai Nationals stranded abroad return home in limited numbers based on the capacity of state quarantine facilities and hospitals.  Recently the Government decided to have hotels and hospitals work together on quarantine facilities that can accommodate people who want to be comfortable and are willing to pay for it. This model may also apply to foreign tourists." I think this provides some insight to those who are interested in gaining such knowledge about what we may be able to expect in the aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdown; strict lockdown that we are currently under with respect to inbound flights for foreigners. 

First of all understand Thai nationals are even having a problem returning to Thailand at the moment. It is not a straightforward process for a Thai passport holder to return to Thailand. Concurrently, I think it is important to note that if this lock down comes up I don't think it is particularly logical to presume it is going to be a lifting that is just going to go back to “business as usual” immediately prior to this lockdown being imposed; I think it is going to be phased back in. Presumably let's assume the lockdown on inbound flights ends on July 1, I think it is safe to presume we are not going to see things being business-as-usual in the immediate aftermath of that. What do I think that that is going to look like?  Well as noted here I think it is possible we could see quarantine required so folks have do maybe 14 days in quarantine to make sure that they don't have symptoms. Although on a personal note I sort of wonder if that is overly necessary now that we have more information about this virus. That being said, it is not the scope of this video and frankly I am a lawyer; I am not overly qualified to make determinations in a medical capacity in any way.

The other thing I thought was interesting is some of these "quarantine facilities" could be in a hotel like environment so we could see hotels hooking up with hospitals in order to provide quarantine facilities for foreigners entering the Kingdom. The long story short is I think it is pretty prudent to presume that in the immediate aftermath of the lockdown lifting, we are going to have an extra cumbersome burden to return to Thailand at least for the immediately foreseeable future; I would suspect at least six weeks probably. Now that being said I haven't seen any Government announcements to that effect but based on sort of how we are seeing things play out at the moment, I think it is pretty safe to say that that will probably be the case.