Tourists need at least 2 Covid-19 shots to enter Thailand: Health Minister


Tourists entering Thailand will be required to have at least two Covid-19 vaccine shots, it was agreed at a meeting of four ministries on Thursday.

The date this requirement will take effect, however, was not announced.

The meeting was held at Government House in preparation for the return of Chinese visitors on Sunday.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told a press conference after the meeting that in addition to the vaccination requirement, tourists from countries that require negative RT-PCR results on their return must have insurance covering Covid-19 testing and treatment before entering Thailand.

Anutin did not, however, tell reporters when the requirement would take effect.

Tourists should postpone trips to Thailand if they develop respiratory symptoms, said Anutin, who doubles as a deputy prime minister.

He chaired the meeting attended by senior officials from the ministries of public health, transport, tourism and sport, and foreign affairs.

When the country began fully reopening to tourists last October, Thailand scrapped the requirement for proof of vaccination and antigen test results as well as health insurance.

A large number of tourists from China are expected to travel overseas from January 8, when the country will also stop requiring inbound travellers to quarantine, although they must be tested before arrival.

Anutin said Thai medical experts agreed that measures to monitor Covid-19 should apply equally to citizens of all countries and should be sufficient for an expected surge of Chinese tourists.

Thailand’s public health system is capable of dealing with any emergency and there is a contingency plan if a severe outbreak occurs, he said.

Due to concern over potential new Covid-19 variants from China, many countries have demanded predeparture tests for Chinese visitors. They include Japan, the United States, Australia, and many European nations.