AllThailand is cautiously beginning its reopening process while easing a few travel restrictions, the Thailand Board of Investigation announced. Thailand has gone 36 days without any community spread of the COVID-19 virus as of June 30th, thus being an example of best-practice management of a pandemic situation.
Thailand has announced eleven categories of visitors who are permitted to enter the country as of July 1, 2020
These also include permitting foreign travelers under special arrangements made with foreign governments. The temporary ban on international flights, since April 3, has been lifted. However, as part of the reopening strategy, arrivals (non-citizens) to the Kingdom of Thailand must complete a Certificate of Entry (COE) document.
The eleven categorizations approved for entry into Thailand are:
- Thai nationals
- Persons who have been granted exemptions, or are entering Thailand at the invitation of either the Prime Minister or other authorities involved in resolving ‘state of emergency’ issues. Such considerations, permissions, or invitations may be subject to specific conditions and time limits.
- Non-Thai nationals who are immediate family members (i.e., spouses, parents, or children) of a Thai national.
- Non-Thai nationals who possess a valid certificate of residence or have been granted permission to take up residence within the Kingdom.
- All non-Thai nationals (and their spouses or children) who hold a valid work permit or are allowed to work in the Kingdom.
- Carriers of necessary goods, subject to immediate return after completion of their deliveries.
- Crew members whose routes require them to travel into the Kingdom, and have a specified date and time for return.
- Non-Thai nationals who are students of educational institutions approved by Thai authorities, and their parents or guardians.
- Non-Thai nationals seeking medical treatment in Thailand, and their attendants, except for medical treatment for COVID–19.
- Individuals involved in diplomatic missions, consular affairs, international organizations, foreign government agencies working in Thailand, and other government representatives. Individuals working on behalf of other international agencies with the permission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and including their spouse, parents or children.
- Non-Thai nationals are permitted to enter the Kingdom under a special arrangement with a foreign country.
The Thai Government is also investing in the National Research Council of Thailand’s (NRCT) development of a low-cost COVID-19 vaccine. This prototype has so far proven effective in monkeys. Thai researchers and the University of Pennsylvania have been working to formulate this vaccine that’s fundamentally similar to one being developed in the U.S. and is set to start human clinical trials in October. If the vaccine is successful, production would start mid-202. Low-cost vaccines would be available to ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member countries, such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam, as well as Pakistan.