Thailand endorses specific Covid-19 vaccines for foreign tourists

The pandemic has devastated Thailand's tourism industry, which provided more than US$60 billion in revenue in 2019. PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (BLOOMBERG) - Thailand has approved a list of eight Covid-19 vaccine makers, including Sinovac Biotech and Pfizer, for foreign visitors seeking to shorten a mandatory quarantine on arrival.

Visitors to Thailand will need to upload copies of the vaccination certificates on the website of the nation's foreign ministry prior to arrival to reduce the quarantine period to seven days. Those without vaccinations will still need to undergo 10 days of isolation and visitors from countries including South Africa will be subject to a two-week quarantine.

The list of approved vaccine makers are Sinovac, AstraZeneca, SK Bioscience, Pfizer, BioNTech, Serum Institute of India, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Sinopharm Group.

Thailand is betting on a return of foreign visitors to rescue its economy from its worst performance in more than two decades. The nation, famous for its palm-fringed beaches, temples and backpacker culture, shortened the quarantine this month after the requirement was seen as the biggest hurdle to potential travellers. Phuket, an resort island, is also working to completely waive the quarantine from July for vaccinated tourists.

Foreign visitors will still need to present a certificate of entry, a valid visa, health insurance, Covid-19 test results along with their vaccine certificate, according to the Foreign Ministry rules. Those seeking shorter quarantine should have taken their shots no less than 14 days before travel date.

The pandemic has devastated Thailand's tourism industry, which provided more than US$60 billion (S$80.3 billion) in revenue from about 40 million foreign visitors in 2019. While Thailand has been largely successful in containing the outbreak, a fresh wave of infections tied to entertainment venues in Bangkok has prompted authorities to order closure of pubs and bars in the affected areas.

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