Thailand: All foreign arrivals must undergo quarantine in Bangkok

Members of a group of 39 Chinese visitors with special tourist visas at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok on Oct 21, before heading to a 14-day stay in Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) facilities as part of the effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus. - AFP

BANGKOK, Oct 31 (Xinhua): The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) on Friday night (Oct 30) reaffirmed that all inbound tourists must complete 14-day quarantine at alternative state quarantine (ASQ) facilities in Bangkok before venturing out to other provinces.

The TAT said direct flights from other countries to provinces other than Bangkok are still on hold.

"As we are now in the pilot phase, Bangkok is the best equipped in terms of public health system and ASQ facilities to take care of international tourists. It is easier to control and manage should untoward events emerge," said TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

The governor said transferring tourists to provinces other than Bangkok for quarantine leads to higher risk of virus exposure to local residents.

Yuthasak said he is confident that the second stage of reopening will occur soon as the first batch of Chinese tourist arrivals posed no health threat to the community.

"The Chinese tourists arrivals were deemed successful as they all followed the health security protocols and none of them tested positive for Covid-19," said Yuthasak.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said on Friday that the United States will suspend preferential trade benefits for certain Thai products under the so-called Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), effective Dec 30.

"I have determined that Thailand has not assured the United States that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets," Trump wrote in a letter to Congress.

"Accordingly, I have determined that it is appropriate to suspend the duty-free treatment accorded under the GSP to certain eligible articles that are the product of Thailand," Trump wrote.

The GSP, the largest US trade preference programme, is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry into the United States for around 3,500 products from over 100 designated beneficiary countries and territories, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative. - Xinhua
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