Thailand's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Monday approved entry into the country for more groups of foreigners.
CCSA spokesperson Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin said the meeting was presided over by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
The CCSA has agreed to allow sportspersons who will compete in a closed area to enter Thailand for tournaments.
The first group will be international cyclists participating in the royal marathon cycling event. The badminton world tour is set to be held in Thailand in January next year.
Non-immigrant visa holders, such as business people who do not have any type of work permit, are now allowed entry, but they must have savings of at least 500,000 baht ($15,800) in the past six months.
The STV (Special Tourist Visa) scheme has been given the nod. The prime minister has ordered the tourism and foreign ministries to discuss a clear framework and guidelines, giving top priority to national benefit. Foreigners who intend to visit Thailand can contact their Thai embassy or visa agency (http://www.thailongstay.co.th/stv_visa.html) for further information.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation cardholders in low virus risk areas, such as New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, mainland China and Hong Kong, are now allowed entry.
The government has been looking into the option of offering foreign travellers a special month-long tourist visa, which can be extended twice for 30 days each time.
Meanwhile, the prime minister has instructed all related agencies to ensure every arrival undergoes a 14-day quarantine, and if the global situation improves then the seven days and six-hour quarantine criteria can be applied.
Separately, a group of 150 tourists from the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou will land in Phuket on October 8, before another group of 126 flies to Bangkok on October 25.
On November 1, 120 tourists from Scandinavia and other European countries will arrive in Bangkok on a Thai Airways flight.
Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said all these tourists will spend their first 14 days in Thailand at alternative State quarantine sites in Chonburi, Buriram and Phuket.
So far, five hotels have been approved as alternative State quarantine sites, of which one each is in Chonburi and Buriram, while the rest are in Phuket.
THE NATION (THAILAND)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK