MONDAY, April 15, 2024

Plan to reduce quarantine period for foreign visitors approved

Plan to reduce quarantine period for foreign visitors approved

A meeting of the National Communicable Disease Committee on Thursday approved the reduction of quarantine requirement for foreign visitors from 14 days to 7, 10 or 14 days depending on the country and other conditions, said Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DDC).

The meeting, chaired by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, also approved the initiative to reopen selected provinces to foreign tourists following the pilot sandbox programme that has been implemented in Phuket since July.

“The next phase of reopening Thailand will start from mid-October in Cha Am district of Phetchaburi [province] and Hua Hin district of Prachuap Khiri Khan [province],” said Opas.

“More provinces will be considered for reopening in November, depending on daily infection and vaccination rates as well as available hospital beds in each province.”

The committee also approved the principle of preventive and control measures for diseases caused by insect carriers for the year 2022, as it estimated that the severe dengue fever pandemic would return next year after it recorded low infections since the start of 2021.

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At Thursday's meeting, the National Communicable Disease Committee acknowledged the Public Health Ministry’s provision of Pfizer vaccine to children aged over 12 years to prepare for the school reopening in November. It is estimated that up to 4.5 million students would be vaccinated with Pfizer jabs.

The committee also acknowledged the vaccination plan for October through December 2021, under which Thailand would have procured a total of 125 million doses of vaccines, to be administered to 62 million people, or 90 per cent of the population.

The plan aims to achieve 70 per cent inoculation rate of the first jab in November, and 80 per cent in December, while 70 per cent inoculation rate of second jabs will be achieved in December.