THURSDAY, February 29, 2024

Vaccine passports likely to replace Thailand Pass

Vaccine passports likely to replace Thailand Pass

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Tuesday that his ministry was considering replacing the current Thailand Pass system with a vaccine passport for screening foreign arrivals.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of Thailand MICE Day 2022 at Bangkok’s IconSiam shopping complex.

Hosted by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, the event aims to promote meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions in the country after the Test & Go system for foreign arrivals ends on April 30.

“Vaccine passports are an international standard used to screen foreign arrivals based on each visitor’s vaccination history. We could use this to replace Thailand Pass,” Anutin said.

“The ministry is working on designing the process that can verify a person’s vaccine history, and will evaluate the situation again.”

Based on the current situation, the minimum requirement for a vaccine passport should be three doses of Covid-19 vaccine, as two jabs alone are not enough to raise immunity for a prolonged period, Anutin pointed out.

He insisted that Covid-19 insurance would still be a prerequisite for all foreign arrivals even after Thailand switches to vaccine passports.

“We are trying to return everything back to normal as soon as we can so people can go back to living their lives as they did before the outbreak, but the timing and measures must be carefully decided upon to prevent any future problems,” Anutin said.

“Currently, the ministry is maintaining the ‘3 adequacies’ policy to support the full reopening of Thailand, that is ensuring we have adequate drugs and medical supplies, adequate health professionals, and adequate hospital beds for Covid-19 patients,” he added.

From May 1, those who wish to enter the country must register via Thailand Pass and present a vaccine certificate as well as evidence of Covid-19 insurance with coverage of US$10,000 (THB342,000). If a traveller is unvaccinated, he/she must also present either a negative RT-PCR result taken within 72 hours of departure, or evidence of a 5-day booking at an alternate quarantine facility. There will be no tests upon arrival, but visitors are advised to take an antigen test (ATK) during their stay in Thailand.