On 15 September 2020, the Cabinet agreed to allow in foreign tourists who agree to go through a 14-day quarantine and stay for at least 90 days to help stimulate Thailand's economy. Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said that the government would issue special tourist visas for long-stay visitors. The most critical condition would be a 14-day quarantine. He also said that "visitors can arrive for tourism or health services, and they can stay at alternative state quarantine facilities, specific areas, or hospitals that function as quarantine facilities."
Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisaranakul said that long-stay visitors would have to present proof of payment for their extended stay in the country, which could be in the form of evidence of payment for a hotel reservation or the lease of a condominium unit. Ms. Traisulee also said that the 90-day special tourist visa could be extended twice, for 90 days each time, making the maximum duration of the long-stay visas 270 days and that long-stay visitors could begin arriving next month.
Mr. Prasong Poontaneat, finance permanent secretary, said that the country needs to generate income from tourists, especially those from the countries where Covid-19 had not been spreading in past months – such as China, Taiwan, and some European countries. He also said that there are now twenty Chinese provinces free of Covid-19, and these twenty states have a combined population of around 800 million people. If only one percent of them, about 8 million people, were to visit Thailand, they could support the tourism sector.
It is important to note that the long-stay tourist visas will only be issued to new tourists. Tourists who are currently in Thailand and are unable to or unwilling to return home must still obtain a letter from their respective embassies requesting that they be allowed to stay in the country. This letter will allow them to be granted only an extra 30 days' stay in the country.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.