Thailand making all necessary preparations for Thais returning from Malaysia

A pedestrian passes a food vendor at a deserted Khaosan Road in Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday, April 19, 2021. Thailand banned the sale of alcoholic beverages in restaurants and closed schools for two weeks to stem the nation’s biggest outbreak of coronavirus, likely delaying plans to further reopen borders to foreign tourists. - Bloomberg

BANGKOK, April 20 (Bernama): Thailand is making necessary preparations, including stringent Covid-19 screening at its border entry points, as the kingdom prepares for its nationals who are stranded in Malaysia to return home.

At the same time, enforcement authorities have stepped up patrols at the Thailand-Malaysia border to prevent illegal crossings, and returnees from skipping mandatory quarantine.

This is following the announcement by Malaysia’s Immigration Department that all foreigners with expired social visit passes would need to leave the country on or before April 21 to avoid being penalised.

Thailand's Consul-General in Kota Bharu, Mongkol Sinsomboon, said that Thais are allowed to enter the kingdom via four entry points, namely Sg Kolok (Narathiwat), Betong (Yala), Sadao (Songkhla) and Wang Prachan (Satun).

In a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19, he said that all returnees must undergo Covid-19 screening and 14-day quarantine at state quarantine facilities.

"We are not sure how many will return home (following the announcement by the Immigration Department) is very difficult to estimate.

"However, it is estimated that about 30,000 Thais including those working illegally in Malaysia (will return home),” he told Bernama.

A total of 230 Thais returned home via Thailand-Malaysia border checkpoints on Monday (April 19).

Local media reported that Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha has ordered security agencies in the south to assist Thais stranded in Malaysia to return home by adhering to Covid-19 measures.

Meanwhile, Songkhla governor Jaruwat Kliangklao said that a total of 150 Thais who have registered are allowed to enter the kingdom via the Sadao border checkpoint.

"We are preparing quarantine facilities for these returnees. We will increase the number if necessary,” he said when contacted. - Bernama

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