One of Pattaya’s top hotels has applied to become an “Alternative Local Quarantine” center, hoping to cash in on a new long-stay visa program even though there are no plans to expand it the Chonburi yet.
The Avani Pattaya Resort and Spa boasts 300 rooms but, on most days, fills a small fraction of those, as are most hotels in Pattaya where occupancy rate on weekdays can be in the single digits.
With Thailand’s approval of the new long-stay Special Tourist Visa, Pattaya hoteliers hope some of the 1,200 travelers going to Phuket eventually will be allowed to begin their stay in Pattaya. However, the government has made it clear it wants to keep STV travelers isolated on an island that can be locked down easily should an outbreak of Covid-19 occur.
Chonburi Deputy Governor Naris Niramaiwong on Sept. 28 led a team of doctors and nurses from Bangkok Hospital Pattaya and Banglamung public-health workers to the South Pattaya resort to review the hotel’s readiness for the Public Health Ministry’s required inspection.
A spokesman for the resort said that the hotel’s 92-room detached annex will be used exclusively for ALQ. The main building will continue to operate as normal.
There are a number of requirements the hotel must meet to be used for quarantining foreigners entering the country, including that a resort has carpet-free floors in rooms and that the resort has partnered with a local hospital to perform coronavirus testing. Avani’s partner is Bangkok Hospital Pattaya.
Chonburi currently has ten hotels registered to join the ASQ program.
Unlike state quarantine facilities for returning Thais, which are paid just 1,000 baht per head including meals, alternative local quarantine facilities can charge what they want for accommodations and testing, with prices for a two-week stay ranging from 40,000-140,000 baht.