Since Thailand opened 17 “blue zone” provinces to vaccinated foreign tourists on November 1, it has been reported that some visitors have blatantly ignored mandatory disease control measures, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said on Tuesday.
“Hotel and business operators have notified the CCSA that some of their customers refused to wear facemasks, while others insisted on dining together in large groups, which increases the risk of the virus spreading,” CCSA deputy spokesperson Dr Apisamai Srirangsan said.
“Officials have visited these establishments and issued warnings to customers violating regulations set by the Public Health Ministry. Repeat offenders can face a fine up to 20,000 baht as per the Communicable Disease Control Act.”
Meanwhile, she said, some tourists have also complained about hotels not being totally transparent about their pricing schemes. “These hotels apparently only display their room fees, and when travellers arrive they learn they have to pay for the transfer from the airport and Covid-19 tests,” she said. “By then it’s too late for a refund.
“Thailand has been open for 22 days, and hotel owners should know by now that they are required to include all mandatory expenses in the room package,” Apisamai said.
“Advertising just the room price can be seen as a deceitful business practice, so any hotels still doing this should stop immediately.”
Apisamai also urged hotels, restaurants, spas, tuition schools, music academies, public transport operators and tour guide businesses to apply for the Safety & Health Administration (SHA) standard to prove that they have strictly followed all disease control measures and are safe from Covid-19.
The SHA standard is accredited by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in association with the Public Health Ministry.