The Health Ministry on Friday said there will be no compulsory quarantine for people visiting Thailand from countries worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Friday’s announcement, made by Permanent Secretary Sukhum Kanchanapimai came less than 24 hours after the Health Ministry said a compulsory quarantine order was in place for anyone arriving from South Korea, China, Macao, Hong Kong, Italy and Iran.
Thursday’s announcement was published in the Government Gazette and listed the aforementioned countries and regions as “dangerous communicable disease areas”.
However, by Friday afternoon, the official policy regarding compulsory quarantine appeared to have changed once more, with officials saying no compulsory quarantine order was in place.
Instead, officials recommend anyone arriving in Thailand from South Korea, China, Macao, Hong Kong, Italy and Iran to self quarantine.
“We recommend home quarantine,” Sukhum Kanchanapimai told AFP.
However, those in self quarantine have to report their health status each day, Bloomberg reported, and officials still have the power to order people into quarantine if deemed necessary.
The latest announcement regarding quarantine (hopefully) puts an end to what has been a barrage of conflicting information from health officials in Thailand, which has caused widespread confusion amongst people both in the country, as well as people overseas who planned to visit.
The first of the confusion arose after Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Tuesday posted on one of his Facebook pages that Japan, Germany, South Korea, China, including Macau and Hong Kong, Taiwan, French, Singapore, Italy and Iran were to be regarded as high risk countries.
The post was then deleted as was the Facebook page, without explanation.
On Thursday, a new revised official list of countries deemed ‘high risk’ was released, which included South Korea, China, Macao, Hong Kong, Italy and Iran.
On Thursday evening, official announcements went from there being no compulsory quarantine to there being compulsory quarantine for those countries on the list.
By Friday afternoon the requirements had changed once more and the information at the time of publishing is that there is no compulsory quarantine for anyone, but those arriving from South Korea, China, Macao, Hong Kong, Italy and Iran are recommended to self quarantine.
Also on Friday, health officials reported a British man as being the 48th case of coronavirus in Thailand.
The news comes as the number of coronavirus infections in Thailand has remained relatively low, at a time when the number of infections reported by other countries have surged.