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Thailand to lift COVID-19 quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers from 'low-risk countries'

There are at least 10 countries on the list, including Singapore, China and the United States, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Thailand to lift COVID-19 quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers from 'low-risk countries'
A file photo shows a motor-tricycle drive past the Grand Palace in Bangkok on Aug. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

BANGKOK: Thailand will lift its quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated tourists who visit the country by air from Nov 1 onwards, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced in a televised address to the nation on Monday (Oct 11).

“Today, I ordered the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and the Ministry of Public Health to jointly consider it within this week. 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,” he said.

According to the prime minister, there are at least ten countries on the list, including China, Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. More countries will be added to the list by Dec 1.

“We will only request everyone, upon arriving in Thailand, to prove they are free from COVID-19 with an RT-PCR test result obtained before leaving the country of origin. There will be another COVID-19 test when they reach Thailand. Afterwards, they will be able to travel to different areas freely like what ordinary Thais can do,” Prayut said.

Quarantine requirements will still be applied to those travelling from countries not included in the list, he added.

However, alcohol consumption at eateries will remain prohibited in high-risk areas such as Bangkok. The government will consider lifting the alcohol ban by Dec 1 and entertainment venues may also be allowed to resume operations to boost the tourism sector, according to the prime minister.

“I know such decision has risks. It is almost certain that when we begin various relaxations, that could lead to more infections temporarily," said Prayut.

Therefore, we need to monitor the situation closely and assess how we can handle it. We must not lose this opportunity."

“However, if we find in the next (two to three or four) months a new variant that is very harmful, of course, we will have to introduce measures that are suitable and appropriate to control the situation.”

During his televised address, the prime minister said Thailand currently administers more than 700,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines per day on average - a significant increase from some 80,000 doses per day in May.

Prayut announced on Jun 16 that Thailand plans to reopen its borders to international tourists in 120 days, which means sometime in the middle of October.

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Source: CNA/PP(rw)