Thailand is cautiously opening its doors to digital nomads with a new visa programme. As a country where tourism and young backpackers accounted for 20% of its GDP in 2019 (source: National Economic and Social Development Council) its Special Tourist Visa comes with stricter terms – travellers must pass a 14-day Covid-19 quarantine at a hospital or hotel before being allowed to stay in Thailand for a minimum of 90 days. In this way, the country is able to limit travellers passing through, while those in-situ can enjoy the culture, lifestyle and better boost the economy. While only 1,200 visas will be released each month, those who don’t want to rush back to their home country can extend their visa to 270 days.
Catering for individuals earning over £72,300 ($100,000, €81,700) a year, the Caymans Islands is tempting affluent nomads with the idea of working far from home. With its borders remaining closed to commercial aircraft and cruise ships, its new Global Citizen Concierge Program gives VIP access to its islands, allowing people to choose from one of three islands – Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman – for a two-year work-cation. 'Having reduced the threat of Covid-19 to near zero, the Cayman Islands offers the perfect oasis for persons with a remote working lifestyle to experience the Caymankind way of life,' says Moses I Kirkconnell, the islands' deputy premier and minister for tourism.
The island nation has launched the Barbados Welcome Stamp, which gives remote workers the chance to live and work in the country for 12 months and take advantage of its fast internet speeds. Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, describes the Barbados Welcome Stamp as the perfect antidote to 2020: 'Covid-19 has changed work globally with a larger number working from home. Now we can give you certainty for the next 12 months that you can work from here.' Applicants will require a negative Covid test 72 hours before arrival, and can choose from a range of accommodation options, from budget studios to luxury residences, and can renew their visa after a year if desired.
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