From October 1 to March 31, 2023, Thailand will issue a 45-day visa for tourists, instead of 30 days as at present, in order to create conditions for them to stay longer and spend more. The country is also expected to declare COVID-19 an endemic disease from October 2022.
On August 19, the Bangkok Post newspaper quoted the Thai Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) as saying that the agency had agreed to extend the visa period for foreign tourists.
Accordingly, the normal visa category will be raised from the current 30 days to 45 days, while the airport entry visa will be raised from 15 days to 30 days.
“We are looking for ways to get visitors to stay longer as this will help with tourism spending, revive the economy and reduce the impact of the pandemic,” said CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin.
According to Mr. Taweesilp, Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports estimates that there will be more than 10 million visitors to the country in 2022. In the first eight months of this year, there were 4 million visitors to the land of golden temples.
In addition, the CCSA spokesman said that Thailand is expected to declare COVID-19 as an endemic disease in October 2022 and that the CCSA will no longer be the agency primarily responsible for dealing with the disease.
Instead, COVID-19 issues will be handled by Thailand’s Ministry of Health emergency centers as well as local community disease departments. From November 2022, only local agencies will be left to handle the COVID-19 situation.
From this stage, people with COVID-19 will be isolated according to the instructions of the health service authorities.
Taweesilp said the decision to declare an end to the pandemic was based on a low number of severe cases and low deaths. “The purpose of this is for people to live with COVID-19 and life to return to normal,” he said.
The current COVID-19 situation in Thailand is assessed as green with between 2,000 – 3,999 hospitalized patients and 11 – 39 deaths per day. Surveys conducted in April and May 2022 showed that 90% of Thai people had antibodies to COVID-19.
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