First group of Chinese tourists with special visa to arrive in Thailand

BANGKOK, Oct. 19 (Xinhua): The first group of Chinese tourists under the Special Tourist Visa (STV) scheme, arrived at Thailand's Suvarnabhumi Airport on Tuesday and will enter a 14-day quarantine, said the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

The group of Chinese tourists are also the first tourists since the pandemic outbreak to be granted the STV into Thailand.

After they complete quarantine and test negative for Covid-19, they are allowed to travel freely upon installation of the Thai government's Covid-19 tracing platform.

The Pattaya News reported that The tourists departing from Shanghai, China and arriving in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) will only be in Thailand for 30 days, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn says.

They’ll spend half that time locked up in quarantine for 14 days.

Tuesday's flight is reported to include 41 people who have applied for their visa through the new STV, Special Tourist Visa.

Phiphat says that in total, 400 international tourists, primarily Chinese, will arrive in Thailand by early November.

All will be tested and whisked off for 14 day quarantine on arrival, in addition to having to endure copious amounts of paperwork before they even get here.

A plan to admit Chinese tourists earlier this month hit a small snag when it emerged not a single one had applied for the government’s newly-launched Special Tourist Visa.

The tourism minister says the first group to arrive are doing so as part of a “conditional entry” program and are arriving from a region in China that “has been free of the Covid-19 virus for several months now”. It’s understood the visitors have been specially chosen and approved for entry by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Additional tourists are expected to arrive on Oct 26, when another group lands in Phuket. The later arrival in Phuket was to coincide with the end of this years Vegetarian Festival celebrations.

Phiphat says the Oct 26 arrivals are also coming from “very low risk” areas.

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