NONTHABURI: The National Communicable Disease Committee will propose shorter quarantine periods for some groups of visitors, from 14 days to 7-10 days, to stimulate the economy.
After chairing the meeting of the committee at the Public Health Ministry on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the committee resolved to propose to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration that the 14-day quarantine for foreign tourists visiting Thailand should be shortened to stimulate the economy.
The shorter quarantine would be implemented in some tourist areas and concerned officials were considering their readiness regarding vaccination coverage, local Covid-19 situations and hospital bed occupancy rates.
Such areas would first welcome Thai tourists next month to evaluate their readiness before receiving foreign tourists in November, Mr Anutin said.
The Covid-19 situation in the country was improving with declines in new infections and fatalities and better treatment for patients. Most new infections centred in Greater Bangkok and southern border provinces and there were new clusters in prisons where infected people were effectively isolated, he said.
Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said the quarantine would be reduced to either seven or 10 days on a case-by-case basis.
The quarantine would be seven days for the visitors who had been fully vaccinated and they would be tested with the RT-PCR method for Covid-19 upon arrival and again on day 7 after arrival, he said.
The quarantine would last 10 days for the visitors who do not have a vaccination certificate. They will undergo two RT-PCR tests, first upon arrival and second before finishing the quarantine. Visitors in this category must arrive by air only.
The 14-day quarantine would remain for the visitors who would arrive by land and had not been fully vaccinated. They would be subject to two RT-PCR tests, Dr Opas said.
The planned measures would apply to visitors from every country. The shorter quarantine of visitors would not worsen the situation as the Phuket Sandbox reopening project proved that visitors did not cause an outbreak but local infections did, he said.