THAILAND: Beginning July 1, the ‘Thailand Pass’ system, which requires foreign travelers to obtain permission from Thai officials in advance, will be phased down, removing one of the country’s last remaining travel restrictions.
Thailand said on Friday, June 17 that it would end its much-criticized pre-registration process for international tourists and that face masks would no longer be required in public.
Thailand is a popular tourist destination, but tourism operators have long complained that the country’s need that international tourists submit a variety of documentation, ranging from vaccination and swab test certifications to medical insurance and hotel reservations, is hindering the industry’s recovery.
Despite relaxing quarantine regulations, Thailand had roughly 40 million visitors in 2019, down from less than 1% the previous year.
Though tourism has improved in recent months, the industry is still far from recovery, with massive employment and business losses in a sector that accounts for roughly 12% of Thai GDP.
The coronavirus task group also said on Friday that face masks will be optional starting next month, but that they should be used in crowded areas or if you have a health issue.
Thailand has lost over 30,000 people to COVID-19, but the disease has been substantially confined thanks to a vaccination rate of more than 80%.