Thailand to extend duration of visitors’ visas to boost tourism

BANGKOK, September 22 ------ The Thai Cabinet approved an Interior Ministry draft granting longer-duration visas for foreign visitors from October 1 this year until March 31, 2023, a bid to boost tourism and accelerate economic recovery.

Foreign visitors entering the country with a visa on arrival will be granted a longer stay of 30 days - from 15 days - while those currently entering with a 30-day visitor’s visa will be allowed to stay for 45 days, deputy government spokesperson Trisulee Trisaranakul said. The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration will meet on September 23 to evaluate the situation and discuss measures to promote tourism, now that there is a decline in confirmed Covid-19 cases, she said. The number of confirmed patients was below the 1,000 mark for most of last week. Covid-related deaths too have dropped, to about 10 to 15 people daily, Trisulee said. Recently, however, Thailand recorded 1,129 confirmed Covid cases and 13 deaths. The Cabinet also approved a Public Health Ministry draft directive that would remove Covid-19 from the lists of diseases that immigrants and expatriates must be free from.

The amended directive, which will take effect once it is published in the Royal Gazette, says foreigners entering the kingdom must be free from the following diseases:

• Leprosy

• Tuberculosis of a dangerous stage

• Lymphatic filariasis in the stage that is apparent to the public

• Chronic illness caused by drug addiction

• Syphilis, third stage.

The diseases that expats must be free from under the amended draft directive include all of the above, plus alcoholism.