With changes to Thailand’s Covid-19 control measures applying both from October 1st and then expended on November 1st and beyond, different use of the word ‘quarantine’ has led to confusion. 

When reports about these changes proclaim both ‘’quarantine scrapped’’ or ‘’reductions in quarantine’’, it really comes down to a definition of the word.

It seems that the “quarantine scrapped” reports have interpreted quarantine to mean restriction to a room or building such as the hotel room; restrictions that have been endured by overseas travellers to Bangkok. 

However those who are now travelling to the Phuket Sandbox have not been restricted to their hotel room but initially cannot leave the island.  This is also a form of quarantine.

A typical definition of the word comes from Wikipedia “quarantine is a restriction on the movement of people, animals and goods which is intended to prevent the spread of disease or pests.”

Similarly a definition from the Collins Dictionary “any isolation or restriction on travel or passage imposed to keep contagious diseases from spreading.”

The Centre for Covid-19 Control Administration (CCSA) has approved a plan for vaccinated international travellers to Hua Hin and Cha-Am from November 1st.  They must remain within a designated area in either location for the first seven days.  They will be quarantined to an area, not a hotel room, but their movement will be restricted. 

Instead of Island Phuket, this will be Island Hua Hin or Cha-Am.  The local quarantine ’islands’ will just be surrounded by land, not water.

We would suggest that reports which state that quarantine is to be scrapped, including from very official sources, be carefully considered to understand what this really means. 

To answer one other FAQ: During the quarantine period, accommodation can only be at an approved SHA+ Plus hotel; not your condo or other home.  That is regardless of Visa, citizenship, vaccination or any other status.

Let’s hope there will soon come a time when quarantine will no longer be required, but for now quarantine or one form or another is required for international visitors.

FOOTNOTE:  The word ‘quarantine’ comes from Venice.  40 days in Italian is ‘quaranta giorni’; that’s the derivation of the English word.

It began during the 14th century to protect coastal cities from plague epidemics.  City officials designated an island, Lazzaretto Nuovo, for ships coming from plague-stricken places or with passengers and crew onboard suspected of being infected with the plague to stop and anchor for 40 days at the island before people and goods were allowed into the city.