Thailand is reintroducing regulations requiring confirmation of Covid immunisation for visitors.
The action comes in response to the announcement that China will loosen its travel restrictions starting on January 8 and no longer require incoming travellers to undergo quarantine.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnviraku was quoted by the Bangkok Post as saying: “New controls are necessary because Thailand is a popular tourism destination for people from various countries, including China, but the measures must be non-discriminatory.”
Because Covid-19 is spreading to all countries and the strains are identical, the general rule is that no country will be singled out for discrimination.
Following a meeting on January 5 between officials from the public health, transportation, foreign affairs, tourism, and sports ministries, it was decided to reinstate the rule.
Although a date for the implementation of these regulations has not been specified, sources indicate that they will go into effect before Chinese tourists arrive in Thailand.
The first flight from China is expected to arrive, according to The Bangkok Post, on January 12.
China will “begin issuing passports for inhabitants of the Chinese mainland, regular visas and residence permits for foreigners, as well as tourist visa exemption for short-term travellers,” according to China Briefing.
It will be the first time since 2020 that China’s borders have been reopened. Authorities removed the requirement to show confirmation of Covid immunisation upon entry in Thailand in October 2022.
Due to concerns about the virus spreading there, Spain, France, and the UK implemented Covid limits on travellers from China last week. Japan and the US have both adopted comparable safety precautions.
To decrease the risk of disease transmission, Thai authorities are advising persons with respiratory ailments to postpone travel until they are well.
Health officials will closely monitor any occurrences of Covid in Thailand, and if required, more precautions may be taken.