Thailand Reverses Covid Vaccination Entry Rule For Visitors?

Thailand’s health minister announced Monday that the country had canceled its weekend-old entry policy, which required visitors to prove proof of COVID-19 vaccination. He cited sufficient immunization levels in China and worldwide.

Anutin Charnvirakul stated that checking proof of vaccinations was difficult and that a panel made up of heath experts had decided to withdraw the new rule. This decision was made by aviation authorities on Saturday ahead of an anticipated flood of tourists from China, where COVID-19 has risen.

Anutin Charnvirakul stated that those who are not vaccinated will also be allowed to enter without restriction.

Reporters were told by Mr Anutin that showing proof of vaccination would be difficult and inconvenient.

Thailand, one of Asia’s most visited destinations, is experiencing a surge in visitors in its first peak season after the lifting of restrictions on entry last year that caused Thailand’s tourism sector to collapse.

It received 1.75 million visitors in November, quadrupling the total for last year, when foreign arrivals and flights were scarce.

China was a key player in Thailand’s tourism industry, accounting for around 25% of the country’s annual visitors prior to the pandemic. Anutin stated that the government now expects 7-10 million Chinese visitors, as opposed to the earlier 5 million.

Monday saw the arrival of the first flight from China to Thailand. It was the first group of 3,465 passengers that arrived on Monday.

“We are very excited to return to Thailand. Wang Zhenyin (39), one of the first to arrive, said, “We have been waiting for three year already.”

“Before COVID was started, we used to come here every year. This time, I bring my family here.”

The Thailand Tourism Authority expects that last year’s arrivals will exceed 11.5 million. This is just over 25% of the record of almost 40 million people in pre-pandemic 2019. They spent approximately 1.91 trillion baht ($55.17billion).

This change in the vaccine rule comes after similar policy U-turns made by Thailand during the pandemic, which caused confusion among travelers about the entry requirements.

Mr Anutin stated that Thailand will require foreigners to provide proof of COVID-19 coverage if they are required to submit to a pre-entry screening.


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