Puttipong Punnakan, Lieutenant Governor of the Digital Economy and Society (DES), revealed on Tuesday, August 19, that the DES and relevant departments were going to expedite the development of a foreigner tracking mobile application to prevent the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic before reopening the country and welcoming foreign tourists.
The procedure was also acknowledged and approved by representatives of the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Ministry of Interior Ministry of Transport, Immigration Office, and Digital Government Development Agency.
According to the Lieutenant Governor, the application would primarily go on trial starting with foreign tourists who were holding the “Thailand Elite Card” of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
The tracking application is currently under the development and responsibility of the Digital Government Development Agency (SAO) and is expected to be fully completed within October.
There are several tracking apps in Thailand that are currently used to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as Thai Chana, Mor Chana, and the AOT Airport App. It is still under discussion whether to develop a tourist section in existing apps or to develop a new app only applied for foreigners.
“The new tracking app must be developed especially for foreigners and needs to be done as soon as possible because we want to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 in the country. If there were issues regarding the spread of the virus, the app would be beneficial to track them quickly and to control the epidemic efficiently.”, Puttipong stated.
Thai Government officials have repeatedly stated that the tracking application for those concerned with privacy would only be used for the purpose of suppression of the Covid-19 Coronavirus. The exact details surrounding the application are expected to be released in the next few weeks leading up to October.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand also announced today that Phuket will be opening up to a limited amount of long stay tourists in October, but exact details of that plan are still limited and it would include quarantine and a required week in Phuket after quarantine.