One thing the Thai government does not seem to understand is only a miniscule number of tourists will ever be interested in traveling to Thailand to then be forced into quarantine before they are allowed to travel around the country as they like.
That fact also applies even if that quarantine is now a 10-day quarantine as has been announced today. A quarantine that is supposedly four days fewer than the 14-day period that has been in place in Thailand for the last few months.
After all, when your average tourist arrives in the South East Asian country for a stay of only two to three weeks at most, few are willing to spend 10 days of those 14 or 21 days in a state-mandated quarantine facility.
When many will also have to enter quarantine on return to their own countries, a 10-day quarantine in Thailand becomes even less likely.
That means today’s announcement of a 10-day quarantine in Thailand for tourists arriving on April 1st or after will mean little to the collapsing Thai tourism industry.
Sadly, most people will still not come.
That fact holds true even if the lower quarantine is far less restrictive than the previous 14-day period, and includes the use of fitness centers and swimming pools, the ability to leave rooms to buy food or to exercise outdoors.
Not when all of this can only take place in an expensive quarantine facility nobody really wants to stay in.
10-day quarantine in Thailand for some tourists
In addition, the newly announced 10-day quarantine in Thailand does not apply to most tourists.
In fact, when you look at the new regulations closely, it applies to very very few, as anyone arriving in Thailand from a country that has a mutation of the Covid-19 virus will still be mandated to remain in a 14-day quarantine.
Considering the majority of countries, including most of the west, now have cases of the mutated virus, who does that really leave eligible for a 10-day quarantine?
The three people from New Zealand who want to travel to and within Thailand, and don’t mind paying for an expensive Thai quarantine facility for 10 days first?
In other words, while quarantine has supposedly been cut to 10 days for visitors to Thailand, in reality it actually hasn’t for most.
Instead, it is just another pointless announcement from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
An announcement that will do nothing to help the millions of Thais now struggling financially due to a Thai tourism industry that has been all but dead for a year.
And an announcement that will mean Thailand’s economy, and particularly its tourist sector, will continue to be just as devastated as long as these lengthy quarantines are mandatory.
Meanwhile, other countries with governments who realize having a stable economy is vital are beginning to open up to tourists that have either been vaccinated against Covid-19 or can show a negative test before boarding a plane. Without a quarantine mandated.
If only those in power in Thailand had the same economic sense.