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Zero Tolerance COVID Policy for Thai Special Tourist Visas?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing sort of a Zero Tolerance policy associated with COVID-19 and this so-called Special Tourist Visa program.

In a recent article from the Bangkok Post, that is, the article is titled: Tourism Minister Raises Caveat on Re-opening. Quoting directly: "The entire batch of tourists coming to Thailand via the Special Tourist Visa, STV, in the first phase must be 100% clear of the Coronavirus or the reopening plan will be scrapped indefinitely, says Phiphat Rachakitprakarn, the Tourism and Sports Minister". 

Now a couple of things here. Notably, the Tourism and Sports Ministry does not have direct policy authority over either the Immigration Department nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Thai Embassies and Consulates abroad. That stated, this is a minister and it is a minister of the Thai Government so it is a good idea to listen carefully to this. That stated, it appears that there is going to be this Zero Tolerance Policy with respect to COVID-19 associated with the Special Tourist Visa. Exactly what that means, well it would seem to mean that if anybody comes in that has COVID or if anybody tests positive for COVID, they are just going to scrap the whole plan. 

That stated, we don't exactly know how this is going to play out. As of the time of this video, there have been no Special Tourist Visa holders that have been granted admission to Thailand so frankly it remains to be seen if we are even going to see any of these folks come into the country. Initially they were supposed to be issued visas and allowed in at the beginning of the month, then we heard a lot of differing reports most notably that no one actually had even applied for a Visa; I am not going to get into all that. Ultimately now they are saying October 25th is sort of the red letter day when we are going to see these Special Tourist Visa holders entering Thailand. It remains to be seen if these folks are even going to be coming into Thailand. 

That stated it appears that they are taking a hardline approach with respect to COVID testing and COVID positive rates. If anybody comes up as testing positive for COVID-19, then that is going, it looks to me, to be the pretext under which they just go ahead and cancel the program entirely.