Thailand has removed a weekend policy that required foreigners to show proof of COVID-19 vaccine, the health minister stated Monday. This was based on sufficient immunisation levels globally and in China.
Anutin Charnvirakul claimed that the process of checking evidence of vaccinations was cumbersome and that a panel consisting of heath specialists had agreed to withdraw this new rule. The announcement was made on Saturday by aviation authorities in anticipation of a flood of visitors from China, which has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Anutin Charnvirakul indicated that anyone who is not vaccinated would be permitted entry to the country without restriction.
“Showing proof that you have been vaccinated would be time-consuming and inconvenient. So the group decided it was unnecessary,” Mr Anutin stated to reporters.
Thailand is one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations. It has seen a huge influx of tourists since last year’s lifting of strict entry restrictions, which had led to the tourism sector in Thailand going bankrupt.
In November, 1.75 Million people visited the site. This is quadruple of the number that was recorded in the entire year last year, when there were fewer foreign arrivals and flights.
China is a crucial country for Thailand. It accounts for 25% of Thailand’s annual visitors. Anutin indicated that 7-10 million Chinese tourists are now expected by the government, up from 5 million in an earlier estimate.
Monday was the first flight from China, with the first group of 34665 passengers arriving in Thailand.
“We’re excited to be back in Thailand. Wang Zhenyin, 39 years old, was one of the first people to arrive.
“Before COVID, we were coming here every year. “This time I brought my family.”
Thailand’s tourism authorities expects last year’s arrivals to exceed 11.5million. This is less than a quarter off the record of nearly 40,000,000 in pre-pandemic 2019 who spent roughly 1.91 trillion Baht ($55.17B).
The change of heart regarding the vaccine rule follows similar U-turns by Thailand in response to the pandemic. These policies caused widespread confusion among travelers about entry requirements.
Mr Anutin explained that Thailand will continue to require foreigners who are going to Thailand for a COVID-19 test to prove their health insurance coverage.