Further easing of entry requirements likely

Further easing of entry requirements likely

Passengers queue for arrival procedures at Suvarnabhumi airport, Samut Prakan, on April 1. Foreign arrivals have exceeded 10,000 per day this month. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
Passengers queue for arrival procedures at Suvarnabhumi airport, Samut Prakan, on April 1. Foreign arrivals have exceeded 10,000 per day this month. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will on Friday consider further easing of visitor entry controls, including a shorter quarantine period for unvaccinated people and ending antigen tests.

The meeting would discuss changes to travel restrictions based on guidelines given by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Supoj Malaniyom, secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC) and head of the CCSA's operations centre, said on Thursday.

The Public Health Ministry has proposed a relaxation of Covid-19 testing measures for tourists entering the country.

Two main issues would be considered, Gen Supoj said.

First, the quarantine period for unvaccinated visitors may be reduced, if reliable quarantine was established. The Test & Go entry scheme for fully vaccinated tourists and Thai returnees may also be adjusted now that other countries have eased entry restrictions.

The CCSA would look into these issues from all angles before making a decision.

As the number of infections from overseas arrivals dropped, the Test & Go scheme, which gave more emphasis to vaccination, may be eased. Officials may also adjust antigen testing requirements, or not require it at all.

Those issues would be considered on Friday, Gen Supoj said. 

On a proposal to end the Test & Go or Thailand Plus system, he said the CCSA always listened, but it should be understood that those entry systems, particularly Thailand Plus tracing application, were not bad.

If not for those entry systems over the past year, he could not think what Thailand would be like now. As the situation changed, all entry systems had to be adjusted, always with a mind to safety, he said. 

Any changes approved at Friday's meeting would probably be effective from May 1. 

Changes could be made to requirements for entry by both air and land.

The Interior Ministry was considering reopening border checkpoints across the country. This would be discussed at a meeting on May 22, Gen Supoj said.

The CCSA would also consider revisions to colour-coded zones for Covid-19 controls, so people and businesses could better adjust to co-existing with the coronavirus.


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