BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand is considering bringing back a quarantine waiver for vaccinated visitors, its health minister said on Monday, as part of a proposed easing of some COVID-19 measures later this week.
Thailand reopened to vaccinated foreign visitors in November to help a vital tourism industry that collapsed during nearly 18 months of strict entry policies. It saw about 200,000 arrivals last year, compared to nearly 40 million in 2019.
The ‘Test and Go’ policy, which allows visitors to skip the mandatory quarantine if they test negative on arrival, was suspended late in December over concerns about the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
“We will propose measures that can be done safely and are medically sound,” Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told Reuters.
“If approved it can start by Feb. 1,” he said of the quarantine waiver.
Thailand recorded 6,929 new COVID-19 infections and 13 deaths on Monday. More than 2.3 million people have been infected overall, with 22,000 deaths.
(Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Martin Petty)