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Proof of COVID jabs for all visitors revived

Proof of COVID jabs for all visitors revived

BANGKOK: All visitors to Thailand must show proof of at least two COVID-19 vaccinations under revised rules that coincide with the revival of travel from China, authorities said today (Jan 5).

By Bangkok Post

Thursday 5 January 2023, 06:08PM

Travellers wait for their luggage at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan on Dec 28. Photo: Somchai Poomlard

Travellers wait for their luggage at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan on Dec 28. Photo: Somchai Poomlard

As well, visitors who will be travelling onward from Thailand to a country that requires a negative RT-PCR test result must provide proof of insurance, reports the Bangkok Post. This will ensure that they can meet the costs of their treatment if their test in Thailand is positive, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told reporters.

China still requires a negative PCR test result no older than 48 hours prior to arrival for all incoming travellers. India this week imposed a similar mandate for visitors from five countries: Thailand, China (including Hong Kong), South Korea, Japan and Singapore.

Thailand last October scrapped the requirement for proof of vaccination and antigen test results as well as health insurance. However, officials believe that as people resume travelling from China in large numbers, the prospect of people in many countries contracting COVID-19 will rise.

New measures are necessary because Thailand is a major destination for travellers from many countries including China but the measures must be non-discriminatory, Anutin said.

“The principle is there will not be any discrimination against a particular country because COVID-19 is spreading in all countries and the strains are similar. So, COVID-19 should not be an issue of discriminating against any country,” he said.

Anutin made the comments following a meeting involving officials from the ministries of Public Health, Transport, Foreign Affairs and Tourism and Sports. They were joined by representatives from the Office of the Insurance Commission and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

He did not say when the new measures would take effect but officials said they should start before the arrival of Chinese visitors.

China on Sunday will scrap quarantine requirements for people entering the country, which is expected to open the floodgates for travel abroad by millions of Chinese residents. However, in the first few days and weeks, limited flight capacity is expected to keep visitor numbers low.

Suttipong Kongpool, director-general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, said the first scheduled flight from China would arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport on Jan 12. In the first three months of this year 15 Chinese airlines would operate 15 flights a day to Suvarnabhumi, Chiang Mai and Phuket airports, he added.

China was by far the country’s largest tourist source prior to the pandemic, accounting for more than 11 million of the 40mn international arrivals in 2019.

Anutin said that people who have respiratory illness should consider postponing their travel until they make a full recovery in order to reduce chances of disease transmission.

Visitors who will be travelling to countries that require proof of a negative PCR test should stay at hotels with standard disease control measures and COVID-19 test services, he added.

Health authorities, he said, would continue monitoring the local COVID situation and could adjust measures to cope with changing risks.

Authorities in tourist provinces should prepare their hospitals and hospitels, while employees of tourism and transport services should have at least four shots of COVID-19 vaccine, Anutin added.

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harald | 06 January 2023 - 23:55:47

again for everyone. every deceased who is proven to have covid after death is counted as a covid victim according to who's specifications, regardless of what the real cause of death was. could also have been victims of road traffic :-D bye the way, the new version from china is even more harmless than omikron was before.

harald | 06 January 2023 - 23:55:22

kamala a little hint. if you have ever had flu or dengue fever and you get tested, sure you are positive with covid test but you remain healthy. 

harald | 06 January 2023 - 23:42:28

funny again, the comments here from fans of the plandemice from the who. they certainly don't know whether a chinese person who tested positive abroad hasn't fallen ill so far, and certainly not either, the new variant has the harmless omicron as its predecessor and is even more harmless. immerhin gut genug für china bashing :-D

Kamala Pete | 06 January 2023 - 14:29:54

Chinese tourists arriving in their droves brings up another issue - where are they going to stay? Already there are russians cruising Kamala trying to find accommodation, and the large chinese hotel here is already full - of russians.  

Kamala Pete | 06 January 2023 - 14:22:15

The new variant in India, the US, Europe, Australia and others looks to be the most virulent so far Perhaps we should just close the gates again or at least require a negative PCR test AFTER arriving before releasing travellers into the general population. 

solar_serfer | 06 January 2023 - 14:00:54

"ll visitors to Thailand "- or all visitors to Thailand _that come from China_? that makes a biig f..g differenct. The text is just not clear. needs to be edited for clarity. 

Prab | 06 January 2023 - 10:16:48

in europe 1 every 2 that come from China as covid... i see no different here soon... they can stop everything again 

Fascinated | 05 January 2023 - 18:53:42

What is missed in the nuance is that its VISITORS from China. As people from other nationalities transit thru or reside in China this is hardly discriminatory against a specific country. ALL visitors from China whatever their nationality, should be subject to checks- anything else is just reckless.

Fascinated | 05 January 2023 - 18:50:31

Anutin playing the 'yes, we will, no we won't, hang on maybe we'll do this or maybe do that again'. The thought of him as a potential future PM is jaw-dropping.


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