Thailand will rule out quarantine requirements for vaccinated visitors from low-risk countries as early as Nov. 1, confirmed Prime Minister on Monday.
Travelers from at least 10 countries including the U.K, Singapore, Germany, China, and the U.S. will be exempted from quarantine on arrival. More countries are expected to be added on Dec.1.
Under the current rules, arrivals who hold Certificates of Entry (COE) issued on or later than May 1, 2021, must serve a 14-day mandatory quarantine regardless of their nationality or vaccination status.
While undergoing quarantine, travelers are not allowed to engage in any leisure activities out of their hotel quarantine rooms. Those can only go out for mandatory Covid-19 testing.
All of this will change once the new entrance rules come into force.
“Today, I ordered the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and the Ministry of Public Health to jointly consider [the quarantine requirement lifting] within this week,” said the PM.
“From Nov 1 onwards, Thailand will start reopening without quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated persons who travel to the country by air from what we classify as low-risk countries.”
Up until now, visitors attempting to access the territory must spend 21 days in a low-risk country before entering Thailand. Once in the country, they must observe a 14-day mandatory quarantine.
The exception being the resort island of Phuket as well as other nine islands, which are open for tourism without quarantine.
The catch is that visitors are restricted to these locations and are not legally permitted to “hop” to other parts of the country unless they have stayed there for at least seven days in a row.
The government acknowledges the dangers of this bold choice so it is preparing for an increase in “severe cases” of coronavirus as a result of lifting quarantine on arrival.
“I do not think that the many millions who depend on the income generated by the travel, leisure, and entertainment sector can possibly afford the devastating blow of a second lost new year holiday period,” he said.
According to data released by the authorities, last year the country lost about $50 billion in tourism revenue, an 82% plunge.
To further boost the economy, Thailand also plans to allow the resumption of alcohol sales at restaurants and to reopen entertainment venues by Dec. 1 as the vaccination drive picked up.
As the vaccination effort picks up, Thailand also expects to allow the resumption of alcohol sales at restaurants and reopen entertainment venues by Dec. 1