First group of 200 Chinese tourists lands in Thailand
The first direct flight from China since the pandemic shut borders arrived in Thailand on Monday (January 9), a day after Beijing dropped COVID border controls that had largely prevented its 1.4 billion residents from travelling for three years.
Passengers of Xiamen Airlines flight MF833, carrying 269 Chinese travellers, were given a warm welcome upon landing at Suvarnabhumi Airporton the outskirts of Bangkok.
Thai Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul handed out garlands while airport officials distributed bags of souvenirs to the arriving visitors.
"We're very excited to come back to Thailand. We have been waiting for three years already."
"Before the start of COVID, we come here every year. And this time I take my family to come here."said Wang Zheyin CHINESE TOURIST
The arrival comes as Thailand suddenly rescinded a policy announced at the weekend requiring visitors to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, Anutin said, citing sufficient immunisation levels in China and globally.
Speaking to reporters at a news conference, Anutin said requiring visitors to show evidence of vaccination was inconvenient and a panel of experts had resolved that it was unnecessary as enough vaccinations had been administered globally. The minister also said visitors not vaccinated would also be granted entry without restriction.