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Thailand approves quarantine waiver for tourists, orders more vaccines


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2021-03-26T104135Z_1_LYNXMPEH2P0PO_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-THAILAND-TOURISM.JPG

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)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-03-27
 
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3 minutes 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. 

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.

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Thanks, lujanit. Has this quarantine change been announced anywhere officially - I don't mean casual reports in papers. The Los Angeles Consulate is mum about it. Will it become effective when it gets into the

Royal Gazette?

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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 twists and turns to the grand plan. On a global level, Thailand has so far vaccinated less than 0.1% of the population with the FIRST DOSE and don't forget most vaccines require 2 doses - a monumental task for the country.

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6 minutes ago, HerewardtheWake said:

Will it become effective when it gets into the

Royal Gazette?

I don’t think it has been Gazetted yet, otherwise there would be at least one thread about it and it would be reported widely in the Thai media.

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How about us that work in europe for 4 weeks and have 4 weeks off and have family in Thailand.. We want to be able to get back to our family, and not just be able to get to some holiday destination in Thailand... Spending 2 weeks in isolation out of 4 weeks is totally hopeless, especially if one is vaccinated and comes from a country where there has not been any infection for the last 8 weeks...

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1 minute ago, Jotho said:

especially if one is vaccinated and comes from a country where there has not been any infection for the last 8 weeks...

That country being?

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Interested in the process of getting people to Phuket?

 

Yes, QR is laying on a DOH-HKT flight, but most will have to transit BKK, the connect to a flight to HKT. 

 

Seen some mention of a "channel" for vaccinated passengers.

 

So for flights into BKK, will pax be segregated? vac/unvac? Mixed?

 

Unvac go to quarantine for 10 days, vac go directly to HKT?

 

And the domestic flight BKK-HKT can accept domestic originating passengers?

 

And can locals (Thais, foreigners) go to Phuket? I guess not.

 

 

 

 

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The UK is planning a third dose vaccine from October to counter new variants. It is unlikely Thailand will procure sufficient vaccines to inoculate sufficient number of its population until 2022 earliest 

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38 minutes ago, Dialemco said:

The UK is planning a third dose vaccine from October to counter new variants. It is unlikely Thailand will procure sufficient vaccines to inoculate sufficient number of its population until 2022 earliest 

It seems that ordering the AZ vaccine is one thing but getting the delivery is another , not to mention that as you say the current vaccines will offer little protection to the forthcoming variants of the virus . So Thailand has to be more proactive and on the front foot as it would appear that the current vaccines will only be effective for the best part of this year . 

One good point is the UK will be manufacturing the updated vaccines in the UK , so look out MR. E.U. 

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1 hour ago, IamNoone88 said:

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 twists and turns to the grand plan. On a global level, Thailand has so far vaccinated less than 0.1% of the population with the FIRST DOSE and don't forget most vaccines require 2 doses - a monumental task for the country.

 

Did you even bother to check the numbers before posting? Rates are FALLING for months now.

 

162656655_ScreenShot2021-03-26at9_00_56PM.thumb.png.0eca57a852489f6127e07016c75b9e84.png

 

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1 minute ago, NorthernRyland said:

 

Did you even bother to check the numbers before posting? Rates are FALLING for months now.

 

162656655_ScreenShot2021-03-26at9_00_56PM.thumb.png.0eca57a852489f6127e07016c75b9e84.png

 

Deaths 63, falling even harder. Thanks to the vaccine.

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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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The way things are going all these vaccinated tourists will be arriving in a country with very few of its citizens vaccinated. The vaccination program should have started months ago.

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My family and I have been desperate to get down to Phuket where we rent a Catamaran Yacht for a week or so every year, we live in Vientiane but get a direct flight from Udon to Phuket, as the rules are starting to relax, we see the light at the end of the tunnel, however, the one thing we did forget is .... trying to get back into Laos when we return, borders are still close, OK for my Lao wife and kids, but it still means 14 days in quarantine ... so unless we have a 'pass' to get back in, our trip and contribution to the Thai economy is a no go ... the point is; How many of these 100,000's or tourist that Thailand is trying to get to visit Phuket and alike, are in the same boat in their respected Countries ... trying to get back in and avoid a quarantine !

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2 minutes ago, NorthernRyland said:

 

Did you even bother to check the numbers before posting? Rates are FALLING for months now.

 

162656655_ScreenShot2021-03-26at9_00_56PM.thumb.png.0eca57a852489f6127e07016c75b9e84.png

 

...nice for UK  ... unfortunately not in France, Italy, Germany ... and so on 😞

 

Screenshot from 2021-03-27 10-07-03.png

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1 minute ago, internationalism said:

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.

Full protection 7-10 days after second jab. Even after one jab you have a good level of protection, hence new cases and deaths dropping like a stone in UK.

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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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3 minutes ago, polpott said:

Deaths 63, falling even harder. Thanks to the vaccine.

 

No it's seasonal like influenza. Look what happened to the rates in the last wave, they fell even though there was no vaccine. Human intervention has had no appreciable effect otherwise the second wave would have never happened as we already had masks/lockdown etc...

628807862_ScreenShot2021-03-26at9_08_15PM.png.67f4f21f16d3764a6857e3957bb0be6b.png

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2 minutes ago, NorthernRyland said:

 

No it's seasonal like influenza. Look what happened to the rates in the last wave, they fell even though there was no vaccine. Human intervention has had no appreciable effect otherwise the second wave would have never happened as we already had masks/lockdown etc...

628807862_ScreenShot2021-03-26at9_08_15PM.png.67f4f21f16d3764a6857e3957bb0be6b.png

So why is UK not suffering from a 3rd wave as a number of European countries are? Also, bloody freezing in UK right now.

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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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