Thailand May Cut Quarantines Next Month

Under a new proposal, vaccinated travelers will only have to spend seven days in self-isolation upon arrival.

Sunset over Doi Inthanon, the highest peak in Thailand. (Photo: Bharath Mohan/Unsplash)

In another bid to revive Thailand’s battered tourism sector, the country’s health ministry will recommend the government to shorten its mandatory quarantine period for international arrivals starting in April.

According to the Bangkok Post, the plan was made public yesterday by health minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who also serves as chairman of the National Committee on Communicable Diseases. He said the committee was “prepared to open the country to help drive economic growth,” and added that it would consider dropping mandatory quarantines altogether for certain groups if 70 percent of all medical workers in the country were vaccinated by October.

It’s hoped that the mandatory quarantine period will be reduced from 14 days to between seven and 10 days for several categories of travelers. Under the proposal, vaccinated Thai returnees and non-citizens who received their shots between 14 days and three months prior to entry, and also hold medical certificates proving they are free of Covid-19, will only be quarantined for a week. By comparison, unvaccinated travelers who have tested negative for the virus before departure will be required to self-isolate for 10 days. The quarantine period remains at 14 days for both Thai and non-Thai citizens arriving from Africa, as the health ministry is keen to keep out the more contagious South African variant of Covid-19.

Yesterday, a spokeswoman from Thailand’s Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said that officials were eyeing October 1 as the date when restrictions could be eased on travelers inoculated with an approved vaccine. A final decision is expected to be made when the CCSA meets next Monday.

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