Thailand mulls over waiving quarantine rule for vaccinated tourists

Foreigners visiting Thailand may be allowed to skip the two-week isolation if they furnish vaccination certificates.
Foreigners visiting Thailand may be allowed to skip the two-week isolation if they furnish vaccination certificates.PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (BLOOMBERG) - Thailand may scrap mandatory quarantine for foreign visitors vaccinated against Covid-19 as it may help the nation revive its tourism industry, according to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Foreigners visiting Thailand may be allowed to skip the two-week isolation if they furnish vaccination certificates but the authorities will continue to track them, Mr Prayut said after a Cabinet meeting in Bangkok Tuesday (Feb 23).

The government will carefully consider all aspects of such a move before implementing them, the Prime Minister said.

The South-east Asian nation has already cleared vaccines made by Sinovac Biotech and AstraZeneca for emergency local use and ordered a total of 63 million doses from the two producers.

The country is set to receive the first batch of two million doses of Sinovac vaccine on Wednesday that will allow it start a national inoculation programme as early as next week.

Thailand will eventually allow registration and imports of several brands of Covid-19 vaccines as long as they meet local rules, and private hospitals will be permitted to administer the shots, Mr Prayut said.

The government will control the distribution of vaccines only in the early stages, he said.

"Many companies have shown interest to register but their documents are not completed yet," Mr Prayut said.

"It is good that we will have more vaccines than the 65 million doses planned by the government now."