Wealthy returnees are being given the choice of a luxury upgrade for their mandatory quarantine, the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) revealed on Thursday (May 21).
State officials have been providing the alternative state quarantine for people “who need more options” during the 14-day quarantine period, said CCSA spokesman Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin.
Currently, returnees are either sent to local quarantine (provided by provincial authorities) or state quarantine (government facilities provided for people who arrive on planes).
However, a third option is available for people who are willing to pay more for a luxury, high-end service. The government calls it “alternate state quarantine”, and is collaborating with luxury hotel operators and hospitals to provide the special privilege.
Among those who can take advantage of the option are foreign returnees with Thai work permits – mostly businesspeople and diplomats. Many are willing to pay more for the quarantine upgrade.
Dr Taweesin added that the government may not be able to continue providing free state quarantine once the state of emergency was lifted and more people began arriving from other countries. However, travellers would be able to choose paid accommodation at hotels that had partnered with hospitals to provide healthcare services. The standard of hotels would range from two-star to luxury.
He also invited interested hotels and hospitals to join the programme by contacting the CCSA with details of the preparations they have made.
Meanwhile, foreign students and others have asked the government to lift the travel ban against low-risk countries when the third phase of lockdown easing is implemented. They point out that the government has a tracking system that can call people up for testing, so it might be possible for foreigners to visit Thailand for purposes other than business, including students who attend international schools in Bangkok, which are scheduled to open on June 1.