Thailand Look To Relax Quarantine Amid Push For Vaccine Passport

The Thai tourism minister has confirmed today that he will propose a plan to enable foreign tourists to quarantine in tourist areas in a bid to help revive the country’s struggling tourism sector.

If the plan is agreed it is believed that it will start in April or May and enable tourists to quarantine in their rooms for 3 days and, if they test negative for Covid-19, would then be allowed to complete the rest of their two-week quarantine in the hotel area.

The plan is initially proposed for the provinces of Chiang Mai, Chonburi (inc. Pattaya), Krabi, Phuket and Surat Thani (inc. Koh Samui & Krabi) although other provinces would be able to request to join the programme.

“Why these provinces? They are popular among tourists who usually stay for quite a long time, for one to three months.”

Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Thai Tourism Minister

Meanwhile the Thai Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) has urged the government to speed up its decision on a Covid-19 vaccine passport scheme.

The #OpenThailandSafely campaign was launched this week with the aim to open borders to vaccinated travellers from 1st July.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha earlier this week ordered officials to investigate the possibility of a vaccine passport for international travellers as the countries tourism sector continues to struggle.

The Thai government has said that they are not yet sure that a vaccine passport system would be effective on an international level and critics of the proposal point to the lack of evidence that vaccines help to prevent the spread of the virus.

There is increasing confidence in some quarters however that vaccines are reducing spread of infection. The UK has seen infection rates reduce significantly as the country continues its rapid vaccination programme, more than 30% of the population has now received at least the first dose of a vaccine. Some experts believe that the vaccine reduces the risk of infection by as much as 80%.

“JSCCIB is confident a vaccine passport would boost economic sentiment….Many countries have already started mass vaccination regimes for their people.”

Kalin Sarasin, JSCCIB member and chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce

Thailand started its vaccination programme earlier this week and some people are saying that border restrictions should only be relaxed once significant numbers of the Thai population have received the vaccine, which could take until early 2022.

The JSCCIB also wants the government to investigate the implementation of travel bubble arrangements with countries with low or moderate Covid-19 infections.

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The Open Thailand Safely petition can be signed at the Open Thailand Safely website and you can follow the campaign on twitter by following @openthailandsa1 and the hashtag #OpenThailandSafely

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Published by flyingdogtravel

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