Integrity Legal - Law Firm in Bangkok | Bangkok Lawyer | Legal Services Thailand Back to
Integrity Legal

Legal Services & Resources 

Up to date legal information pertaining to Thai, American, & International Law.

Contact us: +66 2-266 3698

ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsThai Immigration: "Green Lanes" and the "Phuket Model" for Tourism

Thai Immigration: "Green Lanes" and the "Phuket Model" for Tourism

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of the video suggests, we are discussing some new terminology. We seem to be seeing all kinds of buzz phrases, buzz words associated with Thai Immigration in recent weeks and months during this COVID-19 phenomenon, whatever you want to call it.

There is a lot of new terminology, a lot of new language. The term “Travel Bubble” come to mind; there is "Twinning Countries”; “Safe and Sealed” was another initiative that they were discussing with respect to Immigration here in Thailand and two new ones, the “Phuket Model” and “Green Lane” arrangement or "green lanes".

This is from the print edition of the Bangkok Post on August 30th, 2020. The article is titled: Little Backing for Government's Plan to Reopen: Islands Lukewarm on "Phuket Model" amid fear of second wave of virus. For those who are unaware, we are going to go through the quotation here from the article which is quite long. I urge folks who are watching this to go ahead and read that article directly as there is a lot of insightful information in there. We actually started discussing, we weren't the first, Phuket News as far as I know started first discussing this. Phuket has come up with a model wherein tourists are going to be allowed in. There is going to be a preliminary quarantine period at an Alternative State Quarantine facility which is basically a hotel; one of these resort hotels. Then there is like a gradual easing of those folks' ability, the scope of their geographic ability to travel etc., and the activities they can undertake in order to basically facilitate tourism in Thailand. 

Quoting directly from this article: "The "Phuket Model" has been proposed to reopen the province and that is Phuket in a "new normal” manner, and I have to be honest with you. I never loved hearing the phrase "New Normal". I don't know what it is but I just think it is kind of a silly phrase. Quoting further: "Transport Minister Phipat Ratchakitprakarn said Phuket would be a pilot area where foreign tourists are allowed to travel. The plan suggests that foreign tourists be allowed to stay in a designated area of 1 km radius on the island for 14 days before they can travel in other areas in the province if they test negative for the virus. If they want to visit other provinces, they will have to stay in quarantine there for another 7 days."  Quoting further: "The "Phuket Model" will be adopted in six regions across the country if it is given the green light by the Government."  So that is what the "Phuket Model" is. They are discussing and I stress discussing the possibility of implementing this initiative. This is has not been promulgated. We have not seen a regulatory structure to this affect. The Government has not said they are going to do it. They have stated that they are looking at it as one possible way of reintroducing tourists into the Kingdom. Now, just to sort of editorialize briefly, do I think we are going to see this happen anytime soon?  Candidly I do not. And by any time soon I would say the near-term foreseeable future which I call the next six to eight weeks as of the time and production of this video, and even the publication.  I don't see this happening for at least a couple of months. Even then I don't know if it will happen. We have on this channel discussed other articles quoting other individuals in the Government and even with TAT and some other organizations who have stated they think we are not going to see real tourism reopened until January or possibly February at the earliest next year; that is 2021. So again, a lot of speculation, but serious discussion and it is certainly notable. So that is the Phuket model. That is what that buzz word if you will means.  

Then another article this is from the Bangkok Post again but, the article is titled Thailand, Singapore in Talks to Ease Business Travel Restrictions. Quoting directly:  "Both Permanent Secretaries had productive talks on strengthening the resilience of supply chains and connectivity networks and agreed to expedite ongoing discussions to facilitate essential business travel through a reciprocal "Green Lane" arrangement, the Ministry said in a statement released after the meeting." and that is the Foreign Ministry here in Thailand. Quoting further:  "A Green Lane" travel procedure is an arrangement that safeguards public health between the two countries." and we have seen this discussed previously. It was once called "travel bubbles", the "safe and sealed" initiative. I have heard it called the "Green Corridor"; actually pretty quickly after this whole thing went down they were talking "green corridors". So this green lane is another term for that; it is basically a sort of stove pipe, a closed lane between two countries wherein travel is facilitated under rather strict protocols to try to mitigate or totally forestall transmission from country to country. 

Now whether or not this will come to pass much like the "Phuket Model" remains to be seen but we will keep you updated on all of this on this channel as the situation progresses.