Thailand aiming for full reopening by October
Government officials overseeing the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic said that there was a possibility of fully reopen Thailand to visitors by October this year.
The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said its projection depended on full and continued cooperation from all sectors of the Thai society. The Kingdom’s whole-society approach to containing the spread of the virus has been praised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global health experts.
In the meantime, the Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul wants the government to shorten the quarantine period for tourists and visitors who have already been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19.
Minister Anutin proposed reducing the quarantine from 14 days to 7 days for those who were vaccinated against COVID-19 between 14 days to 3 months before they arrived in Thailand and have tested negative for the disease.
“Those who have not been vaccinated but possess COVID-19-free certificates would be required to stay in quarantine for 10 days,” he said.
The Minister’s plan is under consideration by the cabinet of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and would take effect next month if approved. Anutin announced it after chairing a meeting of the National Committee on Communicable Diseases.
The proposal was prompted by a desire to restart tourism and the economy. Thailand has long been a global tourism success story. “We are prepared to open the country to help drive economic growth,” Anutin said.
The tourism sector accounts for between 10 and 20 percent of the Thai gross domestic product (GDP) and is one of the largest employers in the Kingdom. The health of the tourism industry is crucial to the health of the economy.
Public health, however, is still the primary concern, and current quarantine rules will remain in place for those who have yet to be vaccinated or can not produce a negative COVID-19 test. Globally, Thailand has been ranked among the countries with the most effective responses to the pandemic.
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