He also stressed that health insurance is still required for travellers from China and India, as the two countries require people going there to take COVID tests before their departure from Thailand, reports the Bangkok Post.
Either antigen or PCR tests for COVID-19 would be done on visitors with respiratory symptoms as part of normal disease surveillance measures, Anutin said after chairing a meeting of the National Communicable Diseases Committee yesterday (Jan 12).
Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), said the COVID-19 tests for ill visitors would be free.
Because visitors from China and India are required them to show proof that they are COVID-free on their return, Anutin said they need to have health insurance coverage of at least US$10,000 to cover their possible treatment if they test positive while in Thailand.
“Officials at communicable disease control checkpoints will randomly check if visitors have the health insurance,” he said. “Those who have no health insurance documents must buy health insurance before entering the country.”
The health minister also said that COVID-19 vaccines for foreign tourists would be available on a voluntary basis at reasonable prices at specified locations. Initially the vaccinations will be offered at the following sites:
Bangkok: Institute of Dermatology Thailand, Nopparat Rajathanee Hospital, Lerdsin Hospital, Rajavithi Hospital, Bangrak Medical Center, Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, and the Institute for Urban Disease Control and Prevention.
Chiang Mai: Chiangmai Neurological Hospital
Chon Buri: Pattayarak Health Unit
Phuket: a service centre of the Phuket public health office.
Offering vaccines to foreign tourists would not affect COVID-19 vaccine availability for Thai people, Anutin said.
Dr Tares said more than 20 million doses were currently available for Thai people and visitors who want the shots. Most foreign tourists have already been vaccinated, he said. Locally, more than 77% of the population have had at least two shots, according to the DDC.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) found that some foreign tourists wanted the vaccinations, he said.
The latest details of all rules for foreign travellers entering Thailand can be found at the TAT Newsroom site.