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Thailand plan no visitor Quarantine

posted 30 Mar 2021, 18:49 by Happi Mess   [ updated 4 Apr 2021, 20:48 ]

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Thai embassies around the world have started posting an update to the information needed for foreigners if they wish to enter #Thailand between 1st April and 30th September 2021. If everything goes well, we can presume that they plan to fully re-open the country on 1st October.
The Special Tourist Visa (STV) will cease to exist from 1st October. If things go to plan, people can enter without doing a quarantine. But they will need a vaccine certificate much like some people still need a yellow fever free certificate if they come from certain countries.













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Reuters


BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai authorities on Friday agreed to allow foreigners inoculated against the coronavirus to travel to its biggest holiday island without undergoing quarantine, and announced a new order for five million more doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine.


With arrival numbers plummeting this past year, tourism-reliant Thailand is racing to secure vaccines for its population and reopen the country to foreigners in a pilot project for vaccine passports.

“If we can inoculate 50% to 60% of the population we can open the country safely and move the economy and tourism forward,” senior health official Kiattiphum Wongraijit said.

Its main vaccination drive is expected to start in June, with the goal of immunising half of its population by year-end.


It will receive an additional five million AstraZeneca doses, as well as five million more doses procured from Sinovac Biotech’s, the health ministry said on Friday.

That would take its overall vaccine order to 73 million doses.

The coronavirus task force on Friday gave the green light to Phuket, a major tourist destination, to receive vaccinated visitors directly from July, without subjecting them to quarantine, after the island inoculates 70% of its residents.


Thailand has until now made entry requirements strict, including mandatory quarantine, which has devastated tourism, but helped limit infections to just 28,577 so far, with 92 fatalities.

From next month, the hotel quarantine period will be halved to seven days for fully vaccinated visitors to Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai, Phang Nga and Krabi, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn told a news conference.

By the fourth quarter, the quarantine waiver is expected to be implemented in five holiday destinations, he said.

The central bank expects to see 3 million foreign tourists this year, compared to nearly 40 million in 2019 before the virus struck.


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Phuket open for visitors

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BANGKOK -- Thailand will start allowing foreign travelers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to visit the popular resort island of Phuket without quarantining first -- the country's latest desperate effort to revive its tourism sector.

The Centre for Economic Situation Administration, a special economic council chaired by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, made the decision on Friday. The cabinet is expected to endorse the plan as soon as Tuesday at its regular weekly meeting.

Starting in July, tourists will have to fly directly to the southern island in the Andaman Sea to enjoy quarantine-free stays.


Other requirements are still being discussed. Visitors will likely have to show proof that they have been vaccinated and are not infected upon arrival. They may still be required to take PCR tests at the airport and install a tracing app provided by the government.

The island of Samui, another tourism hot spot, will not be eligible for the program, although it had been mentioned in local media reports as a strong candidate. The government decided the island's airport is too small to handle direct international flights.

"If the country opens up faster for foreign tourists, it will allow us to raise income faster," said Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general of the office of the National Economic and Social Development Council -- the government's planning agency.

Tourism-related businesses account for roughly 20% of gross domestic product for Southeast Asia's second-largest economy. During a virtually visitor-less 2020, service exports -- which include spending by nonresidents such as tourists -- slumped 60.0% compared to 2019.

The economy as a whole shrank 6.1%, the fastest contraction since the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s. On Wednesday, the Bank of Thailand cut its growth forecast for 2021 to 3.0% from 3.2%.

The Phuket plan was approved by business operators on the island beforehand, according to the government. "They have joined forces and offered to be a reopening model for major tourist provinces," said Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow on Thursday. "There are flights to the province and hotels to attract quality tourists," he added.

For the "sandbox" experiment to begin, Phuket must achieve herd immunity by inoculating 70% of the population, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand Gov. Yuthasak Supasorn. The plan is to roll out the first round of inoculations from April 15 and the second round from May 15.

The island province was home to 414,471 people as of 2020, according to the Ministry of Interior.

The sandbox plan is not the only reopening measure the government intends to implement in the coming months. The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration, the government's coronavirus policy body, has proposed shortening the kingdom's quarantine period for international arrivals to 10 days from 14, starting April 1. It has not clarified its reasoning and no official cabinet endorsement has been released via the public journal, the Royal Gazette.







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