Thailand considers vaccine certificates for incoming international travelers

Published on : Friday, March 5, 2021

The tourism reopening plans of Thailand are gaining impetus as authorities has introduced a national inoculation program and consider coronavirus vaccine passports and quarantine waivers.

Prayuth Chan-Ocha, the Prime Minister this week has asked the officials to do research on vaccine certificates for international travel after signaling the tourism-dependent country is now ready to remove the two-week quarantine for inoculated visitors. From July 2021, the local tourism of Thailand wants mandatory quarantines to be removed so that the nation can open to potentially millions of vaccinated travelers.

At the start of 2021, Thailand managed to control a flare-up in COVID-19 infections and its caseload is relatively low in general at about 26,000, with 84 death cases. A successful reopening by Thailand could encourage other countries which are tourism-dependent to follow the same steps even though the World Health Organization this week has exercised caution about the risks of countries easing restrictions too fast.

“A gradual reopening, with the appropriate cautionary steps taken, will undoubtedly save businesses, jobs and bolster the economy,” said John Blanco, general manager at luxury hotel Capella Bangkok. “Given the building global momentum of vaccination, it would make sense to begin planning for the necessary steps.”

The central bank of Thailand states that tourism, which accounted for more than a fifth of the gross domestic product of the country pre-pandemic, is the main support to returning the second-largest economy of Southeast Asia to grow. The GDP of Thailand contracted 6.1% in 2020, the most this century.

As the country has made initiations to reopen its borders to foreign tourists, strict quarantine rules have kept most away.

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