If officials come to a favorable conclusion, future tourists will not have to go through a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the Kingdom. With many countries now kick-starting their respective immunization campaigns, the Royal Thai Government could possible shorten the required quarantine periods.
According to Apisamai Srirangson of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration, the Cabinet will be meeting on Monday to discuss the possibility of easing restrictions for tourists who come to the Kingdom with documented proof of vaccination.
The assistant spokesperson of the CCSA, however, did not elaborate on the actual reduction or how many days exactly will their quarantine periods be.
“The quarantine period will be different from those who are not vaccinated,” Dr Apisamai said.
On the other hand, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said in a press conference that the mandatory quarantine period could be shortened by 50%. This means that vaccinated tourists may have to spend only a week in quarantine instead of a full two weeks that the Kingdom currently requires for its foreign visitors.
According to Minister Anutin, the 7-day quarantine period is only for those foreign tourists who can present a vaccination certificate. For those tourists who have not yet been vaccinated, but can produce proof of a negative result in a recent COVID-19 test, the quarantine period is 10 days.
For vaccinated tourists, they must present proof that they have received their jobs within 3 months of their arrival in Thailand. For those with negative test results, the test must have been taken 3 days before they departed their home country for the Kingdom.
However, tourists from Africa will have to go through 14 days of quarantine because of concerns about the new variants of the COVID-19 that was discovered in the continent.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will have the final say on the matter, when the Cabinet meets Monday to discuss this and other items on their agenda.
If the Prime Minister agrees to the proposal, the reduction on the quarantine period will be effective as early as October this year.
In related news, Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn met with a number of officials and businesses representatives in the province of Phuket to discuss the start of “area quarantine” in the southern island province by April.
The area quarantine is a modification of the current 14-day hotel quarantine. The aim is to provide tourists with a more comfortable and flexible experience while in isolation. For the first three days of their stay, they will be confined to their rooms.
After the first three days in quarantine, they will be free to roam and explore the premises of the resort or hotel that they are spending their quarantine in.
All of these measures are designed to help Thailand’s tourism industry bounce back from the effects of the pandemic by providing attractive options for quarantine to potential visitors.
The tourism industry accounts for nearly 20% of the Kingdom’s gross domestic product, and in turn is reliant on foreign tourists for two-thirds of its yearly income.