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‘Vaccine passports’ could allow foreigners to visit Thailand without quarantine: TAT


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‘Vaccine passports’ could allow foreigners to visit Thailand without quarantine: TAT

 

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File photo: Travel Daily (for reference only)
 

Foreigners who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 could be allowed to visit Thailand without the need to quarantine, according to new proposals from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

 

The tourism authority says so-called ‘vaccine passports’ would enable foreign tourists to stay in Thailand without needing to spend the first 14 days of their trip in an alternative state quarantine facility.

 

The ‘vaccine passports’ are one of a number of ideas mooted by TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn in a bid to revive the country’s decimate tourism industry, which faces the prospect of one million workers left unemployed as a result of the pandemic. 

 

Mr Supasorn said under the proposals, vaccinated tourists from the United States and Europe could start arriving in Thailand as early as March or April, with a focus on what  would be the Easter holidays in Europe. 

 

Tourists from China, Japan and South Korea would arrive later once restrictions on all but necessary travel had been lifted by the governments in those countries, he told Thairath.

 

Mr Supasorn said that if the ‘vaccine passports’ get the approval he would expect 10 million tourists to visit the country in 2021.

 

Mr Supasorn added that TAT have already entered discussions with Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways about offering tourists all inclusive packages. While details were not specified, it is presumed that the packages would enable vaccinated foreigners to travel to Thailand without restrictions or the need to enter quarantine.

 

TAT will also ask the tourism authorities in other ASEAN countries to adopt the ‘vaccine  passport’ model in order to stimulate tourism across the region.

 

The news comes as two of Thailand’s largest hotel operators have urged the government to cancel the current Covid-19-quarantine rules for vaccinated visitors in a bid to revive the country’s tourism industry.

 

Speaking to the Financial Times [paywall] William Heinecke, chairman of Thailand’s largest hotel group, Minor International, said: "There are tremendous numbers of people who won’t come to Thailand, or won’t come to any country that has a quarantine, because it takes too much time.

 

“We should be very quickly allowing people who are safely vaccinated to travel without quarantine.”

 

Meanwhile, Dusit International CEO Suphajee Suthumpun said: “The current quarantine restrictions are crippling our industry and having a massive impact on Thailand’s economy. With foreign tourists accounting for around 70% of the total industry, and with tourism representing around 22% of GDP, it’s clear that we need to open the borders to vaccinated travellers as soon as possible.”

 

Suthumpun said that people working in the hospitality sector should be given the vaccine as a priority in order to help protect locals and foreigners by limiting the risk of infection.]

 

Thailand, which normally welcomes around 40 million tourists, saw tourist arrivals fall by  90 percent in 2020.

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2021-01-27
 
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Already the buzz the world over - passports that have been certified in this manner. 

 

Can already imagine the bureaucratic clusterphuck that might incur among some circles that won't get it or accept such "officialdom".

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A reasonable approach.

 

Although vaccinated people may still present a risk of transmission. Those who have been vaccinated and taken a pre-flight Covid-19 test have a minimal chance of carrying the virus in to Thailand. 

 

 

Other countries have a smaller ‘quarantine requirements’ i.e. a Covid-19 RT PCR test on arrival and quarantine for a day while awaiting test results. Not idea, but much better than what currently exists. 

 

The issue with any of the plans is that there is no water-tight solution and any easing brings additional risk of the spread of Covid-19.

 

 

Confirmed vaccination along with pre-flight and arrival Covid-19 tests (and track and trace) should handle the vast majority of risk while allowing opening Thailands tourist sector back up.

 

It is critical that Thailands tourism sector be allowed off its knees and take steps towards getting back on its feet - the potential devastation to millions without a robust social welfare safety net is essential not only to those individuals but the fabric of the nation. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, webfact said:

Suthumpun said that people working in the hospitality sector should be given the vaccine as a priority in order to help protect locals and foreigners by limiting the risk of infection.

 

Somewhat myopic. 

What about the workers who support the other 78% of Thailands GDP ?

 

Vaccinate those in high risk groups, the elderly first, front line workers (medical families). 

Then those who work with the pubic etc etc...  which of course includes those in the tourism industry. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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32 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

A reasonable approach.

 

Although vaccinated people may still present a risk of transmission. Those who have been vaccinated and taken a pre-flight Covid-19 test have a minimal chance of carrying the virus in to Thailand. 

 

 

Other countries have a smaller ‘quarantine requirements’ i.e. a Covid-19 RT PCR test on arrival and quarantine for a day while awaiting test results. Not idea, but much better than what currently exists. 

 

The issue with any of the plans is that there is no water-tight solution and any easing brings additional risk of the spread of Covid-19.

 

 

Confirmed vaccination along with pre-flight and arrival Covid-19 tests (and track and trace) should handle the vast majority of risk while allowing opening Thailands tourist sector back up.

 

It is critical that Thailands tourism sector be allowed off its knees and take steps towards getting back on its feet - the potential devastation to millions without a robust social welfare safety net is essential not only to those individuals but the fabric of the nation. 

 

 

 

 

can you please share the source that vaccinated people may still present a risk of transmission?

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Every time the TAT make a press release it's shortly followed by the white-haired doctor Yong giving reasons it shouldn't happen.

 

What the TAT think is not necessarily what the Governmant wants.

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37 minutes ago, webfact said:

vaccinated tourists from the United States and Europe could start arriving in Thailand as early as March or April, with a focus on what  would be the Easter holidays in Europe. 

 

Tourists from China, Japan and South Korea would arrive later


Lucky that it isn’t the other way around.

 

Because if it was many on this forum would be crying racism against the farang. 
Others would be repeating the often used myth that Thailand is a “vassal state” of their Chinese “overlords”. 
 

With the current out of control outbreak in the USA and the new highly infectious mutant UK covid strain variant ripping through Europe personally I would rather see the Koreans and Japanese first in line.

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18 minutes ago, luk AJ said:

 

can you please share the source that vaccinated people may still present a risk of transmission?

Nobody is certain if you can or you cannot, so the worldwide assumption is that you probably can.  

Just like our vaccines may only work for a year.  

Stay tuned.

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Most of the people getting vaccinated now are elderly/at-risk/in care facilities, or are essential personnel, or are medical professionals.

 

Not sure how many of them want to fly round the world for a vacay?

 

In a year or so, when the Thai population has been vaccinated maybe start allowing foreigners who've been vaccinated to arrive and skip quarantine.

 

Advice to TAT, put down the straw, back away, take a deep breath. And vet your ideas before flinging them about, like a monkey in the zoo with his feces.

 

 

 

 

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57 minutes ago, webfact said:

vaccinated tourists from the United States and Europe could start arriving in Thailand as early as March or April, with a focus on what  would be the Easter holidays in Europe. 


By then, only health workers, the elderly and the sick will have been vaccinated. They are highly unlikely to fly to Thailand, even if there are flights.

 

Easter 2022 maybe...

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58 minutes ago, webfact said:

Foreigners who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 could be allowed to visit Thailand without the need to quarantine, according to new proposals from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Do these type of passports actually exist other than in TAT eyes? also as has been pointed out by Tropicalevo the word could should be replaced by will if any sort of credence is to be associated to this post 

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It astonishes me that this hasn't been obvious to everyone since it became clear last summer that the vaccines were promising.

Thailand and every other tourism-dependent country will inevitably leap upon vaccines as their way out of this mess. An absolute ban on unvaccinated visitors, along with the vaccination of their own most vulnerable, will allow them to get back to business as usual.

That a few hundred elderly Thais will die from covid-related complications each year going forward won't matter. What matters is that the government will be seen to have done something, and that every other country is doing the same.

It appears that many are also unaware of how fast the vaccination schemes are rolling out in the wealthier countries that traditionally supply tourists to Thailand. The US government claim that they will reach general availability at some point in the spring, meaning that anyone who wants to get vaccinated, or who needs to get vaccinated in order to travel, will be able to do so.

Someone above suggested that health and other frontline workers are unlikely to want to visit Thailand. That lacks awareness of how people in stressful, well-paid jobs like to spend their hard-earned money. The airlines, too, will be eager to get their expensive planes back in the air.

Thailand will replace testing and quarantine with a vaccination requirement, for all visas and visa extensions, within the next 3 months. The past year of not being able to go out or take short vacations will mean that many in the West will have the desire and, more importantly, the money to take a more exotic vacation than usual. With the quarantine requirement consigned to history, that pent-up demand will make this year's high season a record breaker.

Personally, I would prefer to enjoy Thailand without hordes of tourists, but it is blindingly obvious what is going to happen. Too many in this forum have chips on their shoulders against Thailand, often with good cause, and want to see the tourist industry permanently damaged, as a form of karmic justice, a much-deserved comeuppance for the military government. This pandemic period, however, is only a blip. The Thai elites will continue to get rich off the tourist dollar and 2020 will be mostly forgotten.

 

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4 minutes ago, Poet said:

It astonishes me that this hasn't been obvious to everyone since it became clear last summer that the vaccines were promising.

Thailand and every other tourism-dependent country will inevitably leap upon vaccines as their way out of this mess. An absolute ban on unvaccinated visitors, along with the vaccination of their own most vulnerable, will allow them to get back to business as usual.

So far there have been no studies if vaccinated people can still transmit Covid to others. But taking into account that the vaccines are only 50-95% effective, there will always be a certain number of vaccinated people who could transmit it and start a new wave in Thailand. Due to this entry without quarantine will probably not happen until most of Thais have been vaccinated.

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COVID is already in Thailand and probably has been for months. They're fooling themselves if they think tourists are going to make the situation worse.

 

How is being vaccinated different from already having COVID? You can still carry the virus either way I believe.

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Glad to see that someone must have read my post from last week advocating to allow vaccinated travelers into the county, i have more ideas how to kick start the tourism influx should someone willing to listen...

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I think the passport Idea is very good.but the thing I see is who issue them.As we all know a false piece of paper can easily be obtained in most countries.for a price.not even having a test.i reckon

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14 minutes ago, NorthernRyland said:

COVID is already in Thailand and probably has been for months. They're fooling themselves if they think tourists are going to make the situation worse.

 

How is being vaccinated different from already having COVID? You can still carry the virus either way I believe.

CV19 has probably been in Thailand since late 2019.  And never left.

 

Who do you think brought the new variant into the UK?  Europe?  The US?

 

Right...travelers/tourists. 

 

It's a new virus and they are learning more about it every day. 

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Vaccine passports are a good idea, but...

 

Why would anybody fly 6,000 miles to visit deserted beaches, shuttered attractions & closed bars/restaurants? 

The impact that this pandemic has had on Thailand's once flourishing hospitality industry has been crippling. 

Many businesses have shut their doors for good.

Not to mention the fact that many foreigners have also lost their jobs in the west due this virus.

Yesterday I took a stroll down Khaosan Road & Patpong and it was eerily quiet at both locations.

I spoke to a few locals and they told me they don't know if many places will ever open again.

 

It's going to take years to get back to any form of normality, for locals & westerners alike. 

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11 minutes ago, yeahbutif said:

I think the passport Idea is very good.but the thing I see is who issue them.As we all know a false piece of paper can easily be obtained in most countries.for a price.not even having a test.i reckon

they will be digital, so harder to fake.  It's a work in progress...give them some time.

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/24/vaccine-passes-could-get-us-back-in-bars-.html

 

Companies are racing to build digital passports for people to prove they’ve had the Covid vaccine

 

https://www.iata.org/en/programs/passenger/travel-pass/

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6 minutes ago, Jeffr2 said:

Who do you think brought the new variant into the UK?  Europe?  The US?

 

Right...travelers/tourists

but why does it matter if your vaccinated or not? You can still be contagious right? If Thailand is trying to prevent a new strain of COVID which will appear every year then they will never be able to reopen. It's also an open question if COVID is going to disappear like the Spanish flu did.

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Love the photo with its "Immune Passport - Covid 19" showing.  The vaccine does not make one Immune to the virus, just lessens the impact it may have on a person.....

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53 minutes ago, jackdd said:

So far there have been no studies if vaccinated people can still transmit Covid to others. But taking into account that the vaccines are only 50-95% effective, there will always be a certain number of vaccinated people who could transmit it and start a new wave in Thailand. Due to this entry without quarantine will probably not happen until most of Thais have been vaccinated.


You edited your excerpt to end right before the third paragraph which explains why that requiring all visitors to be vaccinated, combined with vaccinating their own most vulnerable, will be a "good enough" solution for most governments:
 

Quote

That a few hundred elderly Thais will die from covid-related complications each year going forward won't matter. What matters is that the government will be seen to have done something, and that every other country is doing the same.


Forget what politicians say. The reality is that vaccinations were always going to be the PR escape that governments needed to sell their populations on returning to normality. Even if the vaccines had been only 50% effective, they would still be used in this way, because no economy can survive permanent lockdown.

Everyone in business and government knows this, it simply can't be said out loud because the media will whip everyone up into a frenzy if it is suggested that even one person dying is acceptable. It is, in fact, totally acceptable to every elite in the world.

As it happens, the vaccines appears to be very effective. Also, despite all the dolts going around reciting the mantra that "vaccinated people can still be infectious" as if they have just said something significant, every medical expert expects them to be far less infectious. The studies have not yet been conducted to prove that, but common sense tells us that these viruses need to get a good grip in the respiratory system in order to create and emit more particles. So, overall, we are looking at dramatically lower R numbers as soon as a signicant proportion of the population is innoculated.

Again, don't listen to what politicians or the media say. The reality is that risks, of any type, are usually lowered, not eliminated, and that is good enough.

 

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6 minutes ago, ThailandRyan said:

Love the photo with its "Immune Passport - Covid 19" showing.  The vaccine does not make one Immune to the virus, just lessens the impact it may have on a person.....

 

It also begs the question who this policy is really for. I don't think the Thais care if YOU'RE immune.

 

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3 minutes ago, Poet said:

Forget what politicians say. The reality is that vaccinations were always going to be the PR escape that governments needed to sell their populations on returning to normality. Even if the vaccines has been only 50% effective, they would still be used in this way, because no economy can survive permanent lockdown. Everyone in business and government knows this, it simply can't be said out loud.

Agree 100%. They're also taking credit with their lockdown policies even though it's easy to compare different states/countries and see that the virus is migratory and will simply move out by itself. In the US the states that did lockdown are congratulating themselves because the numbers are receding, while ignoring the numbers are going down in parallel in non-lockdown states.

 

How many people even know the average age of death is about 80+? A more effective policy would be to quarantine the 70+ demographic and let the younger fend for themselves.

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

With foreign tourists accounting for around 70% of the total industry, and with tourism representing around 22% of GDP

 

Acknowledging that tourism is 22% of GDP.

 

At the beginning of the pandemic, it was quoted at 10%.

 

Reality bites.

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Vaccines just reduce the risk of developing serious symptoms, not catching it and spreading it. Although transmission should be less from vaccinated people, it is unlikely to be zero. None of the trials have published data on this.

 

Another idiotic idea from TAT.

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