‘NO IMMEDIATE PLAN’ TO PERMIT MORE FOREIGNERS INTO THAILAND

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday said there is currently no plan to expand the list of foreigners allowed to enter the country, including retirees with homes and families in Thailand.

Press officer Yajai Bunnag said only four groups of non-Thai nationals announced in the latest regulation are permitted into the Kingdom at the moment. They include those holding a certificate of permanent residency, a work permit, those who have a special arrangements with the government, and migrant workers.

Many had hoped the list would be expanded to cover retiree visa holders and unmarried couples.

One of the campaigns was launched by Love Is Not Tourism Thailand, a Facebook page dedicated to couples and families who are torn apart by the pandemic. They are calling on the government to take their loved ones into consideration.

“We’re asking the government to issue visas or allow entry for family members and lovers to reunite with each other for humanitarian reasons,” the page wrote. “Evidence such as a passport with an entry stamp into Thailand, photos, and text messages should be able to verify their unions.”

Since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, Thailand closed its borders to tourists and visitors, standing many Thai overseas and foreigners in the kingdom.

Though some of the restrictions have since been lifted, the new measures prioritize professional and wellness travelers, rather than couples who have not tied the knot and those who hold other types of non-immigrant visas.

Thailand has recorded no local transmission of COVID-19 for 72 days.

Panprapa Yongtrakul, assistant spokeswoman for the government’s response center, said seven new coronavirus cases were reported inside state quarantines on Wednesday.

The new patients are Thai students returning from Egypt, a masseuse returning from the UAE, and an American teacher coming from the U.S.

The country’s cumulative cases of infection now stands at 3,328 with 58 deaths. 126 patients are being treated at hospitals, while 3,144 have recovered, she added.