Thailand to stop state-funded quarantine for air arrivals

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Thailand will stop providing state-funded quarantine facilities for air travellers from July to ease the cost burden on the government, the National Security Council (NSC) said Friday.

“The number of people who need to return to Thailand is very small or could be zero at the moment,” NSC secretary-general Nattapon Nakphanich told reporters.

Some people had travelled in and out of the country several times, putting a strain on the state’s budget, he added. State quarantine facilities would still be available for land arrivals but that was also under review, he said.

The council will make its formal request for the rule change to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) next week. Air travellers will then need to arrange and pay for alternative state quarantine (ASQ) for as long as the current restrictions apply.

The CCSA has requested that related agencies make lower-priced ASQ facilities available to mitigate difficulties for those coming back to the country, Nattapon said.

The government will cover some of the costs related to medical services, but travellers in ASQ are liable for their food as well as accommodation.

At present, the price for hotels on the designated list of ASQ facilities for the mandatory 14 days ranges from 26,500 baht to 260,000 baht.

“This is nothing new,” Nattapon said, adding that the CCSA decided in March to modify the quarantine policy from July for a second phase to run to the end of September. The announcement at that time said the system would be amended but did not provide details.

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