Thailand ditches airport PCR testing to boost tourism
Thailand is dropping the requirement for a negative PCR test for entry – a move to open the door to tourists to boost the country’s economy.
From May 1, travelers with negative PCR test results before departure will be allowed to enter Thailand without further testing and isolation, Situation Management Center COVID-19 of Thailand (CCSA) announced on April 22.
Visitors are also required to carry valid medical insurance covering medical expenses during their stay in Thailand.
CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said: “Looking back at the first three months of this year, we see a continued decline in the number of infected international travelers entering the kingdom. Therefore, we considered the plan to be more open to international tourists and finally approved the relaxation measure.”
Currently, visitors to Thailand must PCR test on entry and stay at the quarantine hotel overnight while waiting for the results. If the test is negative, the traveler is free to move but must have another PCR test at the isolation hotel on the 5th day of entry and stay until the results are available.
With the new regulation, PCR testing will be replaced by voluntary antigen tests for people entering Thailand by air and land, according to Bloomberg.
However, visitors are still required to present a vaccination certificate and have health insurance. For unvaccinated travelers with a negative PCR test certificate, there is no need for mandatory isolation. Visitors who have not been immunized and do not have a negative PCR test result will be required to isolate for 5 days at centers designated by the authorities.
The relaxation of COVID-19 prevention regulations for visitors entering Thailand was announced in the context of the relatively high number of COVID-19 cases in the country. This move shows that Thailand is trying to promote tourism – a sector that accounted for nearly 20% of GDP before COVID-19.
Thailand’s tourism industry has been pushing for the government to open up. William Ellwood Heinecke, CEO of Minor International, which owns, operates and invests in more than 520 hotels and resorts, sent an open letter to Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha earlier this week proposing a key government to abolish PCR testing at airports.
Thailand welcomes only about 700,000 foreign tourists in 2021 and generates revenue of 40 billion baht ($1.1 billion). The number of visitors entering Thailand in 2021 is down more than 98% compared to the 39 million visitors recorded in 2019, before the pandemic broke out.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand is expected to welcome 5.6 million foreign tourists this year.
Countries in the region such as Singapore and the Philippines have opened their doors to fully vaccinated tourists since April 1.
at Blogtuan.info – Source: laodong.vn – Read the original article here