In a bid to support the ailing tourism sector and economic recovery, the Govt. of Thailand on Friday announced that it will reduce the mandatory quarantine period to 10 days from two weeks for people entering the country.
The decision comes after Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha on Friday approved curtailing the quarantine starting from April 1.
Traisuree Taisaranakul, a government spokeswoman said, “The country may stop enforcing quarantine altogether from Oct. 1 though the group delayed a decision on cutting isolation period to seven days for vaccinated tourists as recommended by an expert group last week.”
However, the quarantine relaxation will not apply to visitors coming from countries with cases of coronavirus variant strains.
According to the Centre for the Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), the Thai authority has also agreed that starting from October, visitors from countries with no known variants of the virus may not have to undergo quarantine.
Thailand is also considering cutting the quarantine period to seven days for vaccinated tourists starting next month.
A shorter quarantine is expected to help attract more foreign tourists to the country, where the tourism sector accounts for more than 15 percent of the economy.
The tourism sector is seen as a key to Thailand’s economic recovery. Thailand welcomed about 40 million foreign visitors in 2019, but only 6.7 million trickled in last year
Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy contracted 6.1 percent year on year last year in its sharpest decline since 1998.
On Friday, Thailand extended its emergency decree nationwide for the 11th time to the end of May as “inter-agency cooperation and integration” are still needed to stem the spread of Covid-19 in the country, the CCSA added.