Thailand Seeks to Reduce Quarantine Period for Tourists

Thailand is eager to reintroduce international visitors after a nearly 18-month period of tough entrance regulations resulted in a drop in tourism, a crucial industry that drew 40 million people in 2019.

Following delays in plans to waive quarantine and reopen Bangkok and tourist hotspots next month, Thailand’s disease control committee has proposed lowering the two-week hotel isolation requirement for vaccinated guests, reports Reuters.

Thailand is eager to reintroduce international visitors after a nearly 18-month period of tough entrance regulations resulted in a drop in tourism, a crucial industry that drew 40 million people in 2019. “Reducing the quarantine is not only about tourism, but will help business travel and foreign students,” senior health official Opas Karnkawinpong said at a press conference, adding that testing will be required.

Those lacking vaccination proof would be isolated for 10 days if coming by air, and 14 days if arriving by land, according to the proposal, which will be presented to the cabinet on Monday.

Due to the country’s poor vaccination rate, authorities have postponed until November plans to allow vaccinated visitors to enter without quarantine.

As part of a pilot program, only the islands of Phuket and Samui presently waive quarantine for vaccinated visitors. Only around a quarter of Thailand’s estimated 72 million people have been completely immunized.

The country is still combating its most catastrophic wave of illnesses, which has claimed the lives of 15,884 people and caused 1.5 million cases.

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