Hopes that foreigners abroad clutching an appointment letter with a Thai hospital might be included in the first tranche of international arrivals have been dashed. Government spokespersons have pointed out that, in fact, a non-immigrant “O” visa (medical treatment) must be applied for in the foreigner’s country of first abode.
The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs points out that the visa costs 80 USD, a single entry of 90 days, which can be extended in Thailand by the immigration bureau. The applicant must produce evidence of “adequate finance” for the stay and a letter from a registered hospital in Thailand describing the proposed treatment. Thai embassies abroad will make the decision whether to issue the visa after perusing the documentation.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul confirmed that the priority categories for admitting foreigners would be high-spending business people and those seeking expensive medical services. This was because both groups are easy to track and to monitor.
However, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha confirmed that the ongoing relaxation of the rules under the emergency decree does not include foreign flights into Thailand. They will continue to be banned beyond the end of the month until further notice.
Meanwhile, the Thai government is continuing “travel-bubble” discussions with potential partner countries which have shown excellent progress dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Target countries include Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, South Korea, Vietnam and some Middle East countries.
Pointedly, there is no mention of UK, mainland Europe or the United States.