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Thailand approves quarantine waiver for tourists, orders more vaccines

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FILE PHOTO: A person is seen in water near a beach which is usually full of tourists, amid fear of coronavirus in Phuket, Thailand March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun/File Photo


BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai authorities on Friday agreed to allow foreigners inoculated against the coronavirus to travel to its biggest holiday island without undergoing quarantine, and announced a new order for five million more doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine.


With arrival numbers plummeting this past year, tourism-reliant Thailand is racing to secure vaccines for its population and reopen the country to foreigners in a pilot project for vaccine passports.


"If we can inoculate 50% to 60% of the population we can open the country safely and move the economy and tourism forward," senior health official Kiattiphum Wongraijit said.


Its main vaccination drive is expected to start in June, with the goal of immunising half of its population by year-end.


It will receive an additional five million AstraZeneca doses, as well as five million more doses procured from Sinovac Biotech's, the health ministry said on Friday.


That would take its overall vaccine order to 73 million doses.


The coronavirus task force on Friday gave the green light to Phuket, a major tourist destination, to receive vaccinated visitors directly from July, without subjecting them to quarantine, after the island inoculates 70% of its residents.


Thailand has until now made entry requirements strict, including mandatory quarantine, which has devastated tourism, but helped limit infections to just 28,577 so far, with 92 fatalities.


From next month, the hotel quarantine period will be halved to seven days for fully vaccinated visitors to Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai, Phang Nga and Krabi, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn told a news conference.


By the fourth quarter, the quarantine waiver is expected to be implemented in five holiday destinations, he said.

The central bank expects to see 3 million foreign tourists this year, compared to nearly 40 million in 2019 before the virus struck.


(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Martin Petty)



-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-03-27
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With infection rates soaring across Europe and new strains evolving ..... summers holidays being cancelled in the UK etc plus the year end is winter with a third wave expected ..... I expect a few twi

I wonder if the hotel rates will double when it's reduced to 7 days.

1) The UK made contractual agreements with the Pharma companies, which happen to be independent of the EU, for vaccine supplies which are being met, and the EU (which has been late in making contracts

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2 hours ago, HerewardtheWake said:

For crying out loud, when will the shorter quarantine become effective? The ASQ hotels say it is still the 14-day quarantine. 

Yes my hotel emailed me as well from country that has mutation

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there suppose to be 2 doses - sinovac after 2 weeks, astrazeneca 12 weeks.

And it takes time for the second dose to start fully working, probably up to 12 weeks more.

So full protection is many months from the first jab.


As there are no direct international flights to phuket, the only way are charter flights from large travel agencies.

They use to operate mainly only high season, with rainy season on hold or reduced flughts.


And phuket get's wet monsoon the earliest, beginning of Mat, and it lasts the longest, till December.


so go figure 

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2 hours ago, lujanit said:

Many ASQ hotels are advertising 14 and 10 day rates.  Have a look in the ASQ thread.  It is expected that the 10 days quarantine for people from certain countries (no one knows which, expect countries with low infection rates) will start 1 April.

Canada, Denmark, UK, switzerland, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and some other European countries are still 16 days and 15 nights. Arrival day doesnt count as 1st day and I’m arriving first thing in the morning at 7am. And still get your fit to fly certificate even though it says no need dont take the chance. 

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Nice of them to open Phuket. But as a resident of the island, where can I get my vaccine? 

I don’t care if tourists potentially bearing Covid come to the island, but I want to be in the 70% that have been inoculated, not in the 30% hung out to dry.

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12 minutes ago, wensiensheng said:

Nice of them to open Phuket. But as a resident of the island, where can I get my vaccine? 

I don’t care if tourists potentially bearing Covid come to the island, but I want to be in the 70% that have been inoculated, not in the 30% hung out to dry.

As a domestic traveller from Bangkok, where can I get my vaccine, before travelling to Phuket?

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