Thailand announced rules on Friday for its quarantine-free reopening to visitors from 45 countries, in an effort to revive an economy struggling to recover from the collapse of its vital tourism sector. The list includes nations nations like Canada, Singapore and China. However, India does not figure in it.
The country in September had reopened its doors to Indian travellers under the “Phuket sandbox" programme. The nations lack a air bubble between them till yet, and the Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine is in the list of accepted vaccines that includes, among others, Pfizer and Moderna.
For now, Indian travellers will still have to undergo quarantine upon their arrival in the country, in an accredited hotel for at least 7 nights before traveling to other cities and provinces in Thailand.
Under the “sandbox" programme, unvaccinated travelers entering Thailand by air will be required to undergo a mandatory quarantine of at least 10 days in a designated hotel in Bangkok, the Thailand Embassy said in a release, adding that unvaccinated children must quarantine for 10 days including their parents who must also quarantine for 10 days regardless of vaccination status.
Meanwhile, the updated list for 45 countries includes Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, UK, USA, and Hong Kong, Tat News reported.
Thailand, one of the Asia-Pacific’s most popular tourist destinations, has for the past 18 months enforced strict pandemic entry rules that have been criticised in the travel industry for being too restrictive and onerous.
COVID-19 has cost Thailand about 3 million tourism-dependent jobs and an estimated $50 billion a year in revenue. Since July it reopened Phuket and Samui islands in pilot projects.
The capital Bangkok and other top destinations like Pattaya, Hua Hin, Krabi and Chiang Mai, will reopen from Nov. 1 to vaccinated visitors from 45 nations, who must produce negative COVID-19 tests before and after arrival, plus COVID-19 insurance cover of at least $50,000.
With inputs from Reuters.