Thailand to welcome vaccinated travellers

The Samikhsya Bureau

NEW DELHI: Thailand announced plans for an experimental quarantine-free model in ultra-popular beach destination Phuket, as the kingdom attempts to resuscitate its pandemic-battered economy, reports The Economic Times.

Thailand has imposed massive restrictions visitor arrivals in order to stem coronavirus, but discouraging tourism has led to its economy recording the worst performance since the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

The impact has reverberated across the country’s services sectors – bruising entertainment, retail, hotels and restaurants.

Thailand’s tourism tsar announced Friday that Phuket — renowned for its sandy beaches and sapphire waters — will be used as a test.

Tourists who have been vaccinated will be allowed to travel there without mandatory hotel quarantine.

Foreign visitors will be required to have had two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, a certicate signifying negative test results, and to download a mobile tracking application.

Six tourism-reliant cities will have slashed quarantine times for vaccinated travellers beginning next month — including beach resorts Krabi, Ko Samui and Pattaya.

Arrivals will undergo a seven-day quarantine period and will be permitted in areas around their hotels — a marked difference for current visitors who are required to stay conned to their rooms for two weeks.

Some 40 million tourists were expected to arrive in 2020, but only 6.7 million managed to enter the kingdom, according to data from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the newspaper has quoted.

Thailand’s tough approach has kept the coronavirus largely in check — the kingdom has registered about 28,500 cases in a population of 70 million.