The corona pandemic has hit the tourism industry in Thailand hard. Before the pandemic, tourism contributed around 12 percent of the country’s gross national product.
The sector is now with a broken back after a year of pandemic. Last year, 6.7 million tourists visited the country, compared to almost 40 million in 2019.
The authorities have therefore placed great emphasis on achieving a speedy reopening for visitors, and the vaccine strategy has been set up accordingly.
Residents of the tourist island of Phuket have been pushed to the forefront of the vaccine queue, while the country is preparing to receive vaccinated tourists without an order for quarantine on the island from 1 July. It reports among others Reuters.
“If we can build immunity among 70 to 80 percent of the island’s population, we can receive vaccinated tourists without the need for quarantine,” Deputy Governor Piyapong Choowong told the news agency.
Wants «quality tourists»
According to Bloomberg, the government plans to test the reopening plan on Phuket, before possibly extending the quarantine exemption to other popular tourist destinations.
They hope to receive at least 100,000 tourists on Phuket during the third quarter, and that the number will increase as vaccination progresses in more countries.
“We want quality tourists who leave a lot of money,” Yuthasak Supasorn, head of the Thai Tourism Authority, told Reuters.
The rest of the country is scheduled to open to tourists during October. However, the preliminary reopening plans depend on cooperation with other countries to allow free travel for vaccinated people.
“There are a number of fully vaccinated people who are ready to travel, but they will probably choose destinations that have vaccinated their inhabitants, and which do not require quarantine,” Supasorn told Bloomberg.
For the time being, the Norwegian authorities advise against all travel that is not strictly necessary to all countries, with the exception of countries and regions in the Nordic countries and the EEA that satisfy FHI’s infection requirements. The council is initially valid until 15 May.
In mid-March, the European Commission presented its proposal for a digital vaccine passport, which will make it easier to travel between EU countries. They have opened up for Norway to join. The Ministry of Health and Care Services is working to clarify in which situations Norway can use a vaccine passport.
Halved quarantine for vaccinated
As early as April 1, the Thai authorities halved the quarantine period for vaccinated visitors. People who can present documentation that they have been vaccinated must now stay in quarantine hotels for seven days.
Unvaccinated people must spend ten days in quarantine hotels, provided they do not come from eleven specified countries on the African continent. For these, the quarantine period is 14 days.
Tanee Sangrat, a spokeswoman for the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the AP last week that travelers still have to present a negative test result on covid-19.
The documentation that you have received the vaccine must be approved by the Thai health authorities or the WHO.
Thailand has few registered cases of infection and deaths related to the coronavirus. According to Johns Hopkins University, the country has registered more than 29,000 infected and 95 covid-19-related deaths.
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