BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
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Rules on travellers to ease

BANGKOK: The National Communicable Disease Committee (NCDC) will propose shorter quarantine periods for some foreign visitors to revive the tourism industry and stimulate the economy.

CoronavirusCOVID-19tourismVaccine
By Bangkok Post

Friday 24 September 2021, 08:55AM


Photo: Bangkok Post

Photo: Bangkok Post

If approved, select groups of foreign visitors would only have to quarantine for 7–10 days instead of 14, reports Bangkok Post.

Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), said quarantine would be reduced on a case-by-case basis.

Dr Opas was speaking after a health committee meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul yesterday (Sept 23).

The DDC is aiming to reduce the quarantine period to only seven days for fully vaccinated and RT-PCR-tested visitors. If approved, they would be tested using the method upon arrival and again on day seven, Dr Opas said.

Quarantine would last 10 days for visitors without a vaccine certificate, he said.

They would have to undergo two RT-PCR tests - first upon arrival and second before finishing their quarantine period, he said, noting visitors under this category must arrive by air.

The current 14-day quarantine period would remain for visitors arriving by land and do not have a vaccine certificate, Dr Opas said. They would be subject to two PT-PCR tests - upon arrival and after 12–13 days in quarantine, he said.

The measures would apply to visitors from every country, Dr Opas said.

The shorter quarantine period for visitors would not worsen the COVID-19 situation as the Phuket Sandbox reopening project had shown that visitors did not cause outbreaks, he said, noting it was local infections that did.

“The shorter quarantine periods are symbolic of the readiness to co-exist with COVID-19,” Dr Opas said. “This will not only help with tourism and businesses, but also benefit those furthering their studies.

“It is difficult to eliminate the virus from society in a short time,” he said. “It is about adjusting and co-existing with the disease and reducing the fatality rate and severe symptom cases.”

Thai Residential

Anutin said the committee decided to propose shortening the quarantine period to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), noting it should be shortened to stimulate the economy.

The policy would be implemented in some tourist areas and officials were evaluating their readiness on vaccination coverage, local COVID-19 situations and hospital bed occupancy rates, he said.

Such areas would first welcome Thai tourists next month to evaluate their readiness before receiving foreign tourists in November, he said.

The committee also acknowledged a plan to administer Pfizer vaccine doses to children 12 years old and older to prepare them for the new school semester.

It also acknowledged a plan to administer jabs to the public from next month until December, when some 125 million vaccine doses are expected to be made available, he said.

A total of 52mn Thais, or 90% of the population, will be inoculated, Mr Anutin said.

The COVID-19 situation in the country has been improving but there are still many new infections and fatalities, prompting agencies to look for better treatment options for patients.

Most new infections were detected in Greater Bangkok and the southern border provinces, he said, noting there have also been new clusters in prisons where infected people were effectively isolated.

Meanwhile, Sanan Angubolkul, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, yesterday led talks with business organisations to discuss Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang’s preparations for the reopening of the capital.

After the meeting, Mr Sanan said they agreed that 70% of residents should first receive two vaccine shots for a safe reopening to foreign visitors.

Currently, only about 44% of Bangkok residents have received two jabs, he said, adding that vaccinations must be expedited from now until Oct 22 when 70% of Bangkok residents are expected to be fully vaccinated.

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Kurt | 25 September 2021 - 08:56:57

With just opening-up domestic and not for foreign,  keeping quarantine time for fully vaccinated healthy people, Officials remain stubbornly dumb. The present spiking Covid-19 spreading happens by Thai. Enormous areas north of BKK have not even received 1st vaccination.

wtfb | 24 September 2021 - 16:43:35

So Thais can come to Phuket on 1 October who have had two doses of an inferior vaccine and a negative ATK test within the previous 7 days. Tourists who will in most cases will have had two doses of a superior vaccine will need a PCR test before departure, again on arrival. Must quarantine for at least 7 days with a further PCR test at the end of the 7 days. There will be no foreign tourists! 

CaptainJack69 | 24 September 2021 - 13:09:29

As always Thailand is 6 months behind the rest of the world. MANY people can now travel to MANY countries with no restrictions at all. No isolation of any kind, just 1 test before travelling & no stupid 'sandbox'. Why? VACCINATION!

Even in the most severe cases (like travelers from Thailand now have to endure to enter some countries) quarantine is not as long as 14 days.

maverick | 24 September 2021 - 11:01:07

What part of tourists won’t accept quarantine do these clowns not understand - either open properly or tell your people that they will not have a high season business’s need to prepare not be constantly given hope to see it snatched away - still who expects politicians to be honest -global pandemic.

 

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