Anutin scraps new measure seeking Covid-19 vaccination proof from foreign tourists
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Monday cancelled the requirement for foreign tourists to show a proof of full Covid-19 vaccination or a certificate of recovery from the disease not more than 180 days before departure.
Anutin announced the cancellation of the requirement on the same day when an order issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) for airlines to request documents took effect.
On Sunday, the CAAT issued a 7-point Notice to Airmen (Notam) that all airlines must make sure passengers above the age of 18 show proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or have a doctor’s certificate saying they recovered from Covid-19 not longer than 180 days before departure.
The Notam was supposed to take effect from 8am on Monday until midnight on January 31.
The Notam prompted Thai tour operators to cry foul, saying it was issued at short notice and it would affect tourists, especially those from China. The tour operators feared that Chinese tourists would have no time to prepare such documents and they would be disallowed to board their planes.
Anutin said the academic committee on communicable diseases of the Public Health Ministry had convened a meeting on Monday morning and agreed that most Thais have been vaccinated against Covid and foreigners have also acquired immunity up to a level.
The committee resolved that it would not be necessary for foreign tourists to show such documents upon arrival, as it would be inconvenient for them, Anutin added.
Anyway, tourists from countries that require them to take RT-PCR test before returning to their countries must buy health insurance for cover their own treatment if they test positive, so the Thai government would not have to shoulder the expense, Anutin said.
The minister said foreign tourists can receive free Covid vaccines at state hospitals on a voluntary basis.
The Public Health Ministry will later consult with private hospitals on how to collect expenses if a foreign tourist wanted to receive Covid vaccines at their places, Anutin said.
The minister added that Thai authorities would not test foreign tourists for Covid on a random basis.
“The arrival of foreign tourists bodes well for us. Their arrival will create income and jobs. If all Thais welcome foreign tourists and take good care of their own health, our country’s economy will recover very fast after being damaged by the pandemic for almost three years,” Anutin said.
Proof of full Covid vaccination required from tourists to Thailand