Quarantine orders will be in place for returnees


south korea returnees
Images adapted from The Bangkok Insight, Bangkok Post

As the COVID-19 virus spreads to more places across the world, workers, students, and tourists are looking to come back home

With opportunities for a higher wage in South Korea, it sees thousands of Thais working in the country. At least 140,000 are believed to be illegal workers.

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Over 5,000 Thai illegal workers need to return home


south korea covid-19
Image credit: The Bangkok Insight 

Referred to as “phi noi”, which translates to “little ghost” in Thai, these illegal workers in South Korea mostly work in factories and agriculture. Most of them gave also reached the country via means such as cargo ships, while others have visited as tourists and then extended their stay illegally without a work permit.

South Korea has been classified as a high-risk country with a total of 5,328 cases and 32 deaths – the highest numbers outside China. 

prime minister thailand
Image credit: Thai Post

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that there are over 10,000 workers who have requested support with returning back to Thailand, with numbers likely to increase due to the sheer number of overseas workers in South Korea.


Workers have signed up for amnesty


Of this, around 5,000 illegal workers have signed up for an amnesty programme, which will help support workers who cannot afford to buy a ticket back home, Khaosod English reports

Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Cherdkiat Atthakor also shared that the South Korean government has agreed to let the illegal workers return without any repercussions or punishment, as long as they register their status before 30th June 2020. They will also not be charged with overstaying, or be put on a blacklist.


Returnees to undergo 2-week quarantine


Of the returnees from South Korea this week, 19 were further examined for having symptoms. However, all were tested negative for COVID-19. The rest were allowed to return home as they did not have any symptoms.

Following this, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha shared on Wednesday, 4th March, that all workers flying back will be quarantined and not be allowed to return home immediately.

The current situation has made waves with Thai netizens on social media, some of whom have shared their concerns about those who have been allowed to go back to their homes without an official quarantine. 

Keep up with the COVID-19 situation in Thailand here:


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