Reopening checks find only six tourist infections
Only six Covid-19 infections among visitors have been recorded from more than 4,500 people tested in the first two days of the country reopening to tourists, the government said.
Dr Sumanee Wacharasint, assistant spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said on Wednesday that of 4,510 tourist arrivals, 4,022 were allowed to enter without quarantine, as they were fully vaccinated and tested negative for Covid-19.
The other 488 are travellers who opted for Covid-19 quarantine because they had yet to be fully vaccinated and only six infections were confirmed among them, Dr Sumanee said.
She said that five countries -- Japan, Singapore, Qatar, China and Germany -- had the highest number of tourists arriving in Thailand in the first two days of the country's reopening.
Tourists from 63 countries are now exempt from being subjected to quarantine rules as part of the government's reopening scheme.
As for the 17 provinces set to take part in the government's tourism reopening pilot programme, 16 were now ready to start it as they have already achieved the minimum 50% first-shot vaccination coverage, she said.
Only Nong Khai has yet to fulfil this requirement, she said, adding that first-dose vaccination coverage there stood at 47.3%.
Since its launch on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the country's reopening has so far run smoothly, without any major problems.
"Visitors required to stay only one night in certified hotels that are part of the reopening programme are guaranteed to get their RT-PCR Covid-19 test results in one day as promised and they will be then free to travel if cleared of infection," Mr Anutin said.
The infection rate among tourists entering Thailand through the Phuket Sandbox programme, for instance, was only about 0.8%, he said.
As for progress in the country's Covid-19 vaccination drive, Dr Sumanee said 77 million doses of the vaccine have been administered so far.
The CCSA is now aiminng to administer up to 100 million doses by the end of this month which should see second-shot vaccination coverage reach 80% from its current 44%, Dr Sumanee added.