Thailand eases quarantine rules to revive tourism

Bangkok, Mar 19 (efe-epa).- Thailand health authorities said Friday mandatory Covid-19 quarantine for vaccinated foreign travelers would be shortened to seven days from the existing two weeks starting Apr.1.

The government took the decision to revive the tourism sector in the country.

Tourism, one of the Thai economy pillars, is among the worst sectors hit by the pandemic.

The government said those foreign travelers who have not been inoculated against the coronavirus would have to undergo a 10-day quarantine after showing a covid negative test certificate.

The Thai authorities said that if all went well as planned, the government would lift all isolation measures for overseas travelers from Oct.1.

Thailand, one of the main tourist destinations in Southeast Asia that has kept its borders practically closed to tourists since March last year, received 6.6 million tourists until July, compared to more than 23 million who arrived in the same period of 2019.

The government hopes to vaccinate more than half of the 69 million people of the country.

Thailand began its vaccination campaign last month with the Chinese company Sinovac’s anti-covid serum.

However, the drive relies more on the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, from which it received some 117,000 doses.

The country expects to produce another 61 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from June in a local laboratory owned by the Thai king’s business holdings.

Covid-19 has caused some 27,500 infections and 90 deaths in Thailand.

Thailand was the first country outside China to detect a Covid-19 infection in January 2020 when the world was oblivious to the ensuing global pandemic.

Thailand has since managed to weather the storm considerably better than much of the international community. EFE-EPA


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