Thailand, which has an economy that depends heavily on tourism, is considering altering its current quarantine requirements for visitors, according to Anutin Charnvirakul, the country’s public health minister.
If this occurs, most visitors would experience a significant reduction of how many days they would need to spend in quarantine.
The proposal, which would go into effect in April, would result in the existing 14-day quarantine being reduced to seven for those who have been vaccinated between two weeks and three months prior to arriving in Thailand and have a recent negative COVID-19 test result.
Meanwhile, those with COVID-19-free certificates in lieu of vaccination documents would experience a reduction from 14 days to 10.
This proposal does not include any quarantine reduction for those coming from Africa. This is because Thai officials are concerned about the more highly contagious variants that had been initially detected on that continent potentially having a significant impact in their country.
The intent behind these proposals is to help stimulate tourism and Thailand’s economy as a whole. This is due to tourism accounting for 20% of the country’s economy and it having been decimated over the past year.
“We are prepared to open the country to help drive economic growth,” Anutin said. He added that a long-term goal that Thailand has it to vaccinate 70% of its medical workers and members of at-risk groups by October and then remove all quarantine requirements for some visitors.
Meanwhile, a related proposal to reduce the quarantine period has also been made. This one would result in the shortening of it from its current period of 14 days to three as long as a COVID-19 test that was administered after the third day is negative. At that point, tourists could leave their rooms, but they would not be able to leave the hotel property until the entire period has elapsed.
Travelers should note that all quarantine periods must be adhered to at the traveler’s expense and that the test that is given after the third day in the last proposal will not be the final one that they will take. Also, this proposal would initially be applied to facilities in Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Krabi, Phuket and Surat Thani as those are provinces that attract tourists in significant numbers.
Also being considered by Thai officials is the arrangement of travel bubbles with other countries. That could occur as early as May.