Thailand extends quarantine-free entry to 63 countries

Bangkok, Oct 31 (EFE).- Thailand’s government has expanded its list of 46 countries and territories whose fully vaccinated residents are eligible for quarantine-free entry to 63.

From Nov. 1, fully vaccinated arrivals from the countries on the list will be required to stay their first night at an approved hotel while they undergo Covid-19 testing, and are then free to travel around the country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs published the updated list late Saturday night. It now includes South Asian nations India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Kuwait and Oman in the Middle East, and Taiwan and Mongolia in East Asia, as well as all European Union members, all Southeast Asian countries, the United Kingdom, the United States and Chile, the only Latin American country.

Quarantine rules become somewhat more complicated for those not fully vaccinated or from countries not included in the list.

Any traveler not fully vaccinated must quarantine in an approved hotel for 10 days.

Fully vaccinated travelers arriving from countries not on the list can enter quarantine-free to places where bubbles have been created, such as the islands of Phuket and Samui, although they will not be able to travel to other parts of the country for seven days.

Thailand has fully vaccinated around 44 percent of its population, and 60 percent have had one dose. Some provinces are more advanced in their schedule, for example Bangkok has fully vaccinated 78 percent, and Phuket 77 percent.

A recent survey by Suan Dusit Poll showed that 60.10 percent of those surveyed considered the country not yet ready to reopen to tourists without quarantine requirements.

Respondents listed “necessary conditions” for reopening as being: 70 percent of the population fully vaccinated with quality vaccines first (74.48 percent), the ability to contain the pandemic (69.04 percent), readiness of health services, hospitals and medical personnel (68.31 percent), mandatory testing before venue entry (66.03 percent), and tourist confidence in safety at facilities such as airports, public transport, restaurants and hotels (65 percent).

In 2019, almost 40 million tourists visited Thailand, where the tourism sector accounts for up to 20 percent of GDP, and which has been severely affected by the pandemic and border closures.

The country has accumulated more than 1.9 million cases, including 19,205 deaths since the pandemic began, and of those, 1.88 million cases and 19,111 deaths have been recorded since Apr. 1 this year. EFE


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