Thailand Will Allow Visitors to Stay 9 Months — If They Quarantine First

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Thailand has a plan for reopening that’s aimed at international visitors looking to stay a while.

It’s not quite a work-from-elsewhere package, but the country is offering a special tourist visa that will allow foreigners to stay for up to 90 days, presuming they quarantine for the first 14 days of their stay. The policy is expected to launch next month, according to the Bangkok Post.

Visitors will be required to book accommodations for the entire 90-day period ahead of time and to quarantine upon arrival, the Bangkok Post reported. After quarantining, however, visitors will be free to move around the country.

And travelers worried about a drab quarantine don’t have to be. The Thai government will give visitors the option of quarantining at a number of luxury properties, including the Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel and the Mövenpick BDMS Wellness Resort Bangkok.

The Thai government hasn’t yet said whether it will require visitors to undergo COVID-19 tests or other health screenings.

After their initial approval, visitors will be permitted to renew their visas twice, making it possible for them to say 270 days, or about nine months, the Bangkok Post reports. But interested travelers may need to move quickly, as the government plans to issue just 1,200 of these visas each month.

Thailand has been particularly cautious with reopening, opting to keep its borders closed to international visitors over the summer as other countries took softer approaches. Before COVID-19, citizens from 28 countries, including the U.S., Canada, and much of Europe, didn’t need visas for trips to Thailand under 30 days.

It’s an approach that appears to have helped Thailand limit the spread of COVID-19 within its borders. Thailand seems to have successfully flattened its disease curve and reported no new coronavirus cases as of publication on Sept. 17.

The country has reported fewer than 3,500 coronavirus cases and 58 deaths so far — a fraction of the more than 30 million cases and nearly 950,000 deaths reported worldwide.