COVID-19 Testing Period for Foreign Workers from Three Countries to Be Extended

The Cabinet on 8 June 2021 approved the COVID-19 testing period for foreign workers from Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar from 16 June to 13 September 2021. They are required to complete their application for health insurance and work permits during this period, as well.

The Cabinet also allowed 53,800 foreign workers who had registered for unemployment to register their personal records as resident non-Thai nationals (Tho Ro 38/1) and apply for temporary work permits (pink cards) by 31 March 2022, from the original deadline of 16 June 2021.

The extension will enable them to stay and work legally in Thailand. It came after the Cabinet on 29 December 2020 had decided to allow foreign workers from Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar to register to continue to stay and work legally in Thailand in special cases, under the spread of the new wave of COVID-19.

In this regard, COVID-19 testing for the foreign workers has to be carried out, along with the collection of their biometric data, while they are required to apply for health insurance and work permits.

Following the Cabinet decision on 29 December 2020, 654,000 foreign workers from the three countries have registered in the process. Out of this number, 601,000 have applied for employment.

After screening, 496,000 of these workers were qualified to apply for work permits. As of 31 May 2021, 98 percent, or 485,000 persons, had their biometric data collected. About 70 percent, or 339,000 persons, had been tested for COVID-19.

Only 50 percent of them, or 239,000 persons, have received work permits issued by the Ministry of Labor. Because of the new wave of COVID-19 infection in the country, medical personnel are unable to complete COVID-19 testing for these workers by 16 June 2021. The Cabinet, therefore, decided to extend the COVID-19 testing period for them.

Source: The Government Public Relations Department