Thailand to allow quarantine-free travel from 46 countries from Nov 1: PM Prayut

Thailand is poised to introduce the new quarantine-free travel arrangements on Nov 1.
Thailand is poised to introduce the new quarantine-free travel arrangements on Nov 1.PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thailand will let vaccinated visitors from 46 countries forgo Covid-19 quarantine from next month, up from 10 previously announced, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Thursday (Oct 21).

The South-east Asian country is poised to introduce the new quarantine-free travel arrangements on Nov 1 as it seeks to revive its vital tourism industry.

The 46 countries include Britain, the United States, China, Singapore, Germany and Australia, according to the ministry of foreign affairs.

Mr Prayut said the visitors could skip mandatory quarantine as long as they arrive via air, have been fully vaccinated and have a document to show they are virus-free.

Thailand will reopen the capital Bangkok and other key tourist destinations, including Hua Hin and Pattaya, where curfews will be lifted at the end of the month, according to the Royal Gazette released late on Thursday.

Strict entry requirements and quarantine measures helped keep Thailand’s coronavirus outbreaks under control until recent months, but the curbs saw arrival numbers plummet to a fraction of the nearly 40 million visitors seen in 2019.

Thailand lost about US$50 billion (S$67 billion) in tourism revenue last year, an 82 per cent plunge.

It started with a pilot reopening that began on July 1 on its most popular island, Phuket, which has been vaccinating most of its local population.

Just 100,000 foreign visitors are expected this year, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.