| 27 May 2024, Monday |

Thailand seeks to slash quarantine period for visitors

Following delays in plans to lift quarantine and reopen Bangkok and tourist hotspots next month, Thailand’s disease control committee has recommended reducing the two-week hotel isolation requirement for vaccinated newcomers.

Thailand is eager to reintroduce international tourists after a nearly 18-month period of stringent entrance restrictions resulted in a drop in tourism, a vital industry that drew 40 million people in 2019.

“Reducing the quarantine will benefit business trips and international students,” senior health official Opas Karnkawinpong said at a press conference, adding that testing will be necessary.

Under the proposal, to be presented to government on Monday, those without vaccination proof would be isolated for 10 days if arriving by air, and 14 days if by land.

Due to the country’s poor vaccination rate, authorities have postponed plans to give inoculated tourists access without quarantine until November.

As part of a trial program, only the islands of Phuket and Samui now waive quarantine for vaccinated visitors.

Only around a quarter of Thailand’s estimated 72 million people have been properly 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.

  • Reuters