FILE PHOTO: Thailand welcomes tourists on first day of reopening
FILE PHOTO: Foreign tourists prepare their documents at the new entry lanes at Suvarnabhumi Airport during the first day of the country's reopening campaign, part of the government's plan to jump start the pandemic-hit tourism sector in Bangkok, Thailand November 1, 2021. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo Photo: Reuters/ATHIT PERAWONGMETHA
travel

Thailand eases entry rules for tourists, scraps mask policy

6 Comments

Thailand announced on Friday it would abandon its much-criticized pre-registration process for foreign visitors and no longer require face masks to be worn in public, responding to a slower COVID-19 spread.

The "Thailand Pass" system, where foreign tourists must seek prior approval from Thai authorities, will be halted from July 1, Tourism Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakan told reporters, removing one of the country's last remaining travel curbs.

Thailand is one of the world's most popular travel destinations, but tourism businesses have long complained its requirement for foreigners to submit multiple documents - from vaccine and swab test certificates to medical insurance and hotel bookings - was impeding the sector's recovery.

Thailand was visited by nearly 40 million people in 2019, but received less than 1% of that number last year, despite easing its quarantine requirements.

Though tourism has picked up in recent months, the industry is far from recovering, with huge jobs and businesses losses in a sector that typically accounts for about 12% of Thai gross domestic product.

The coronavirus task force on Friday also said use of face masks would from next month be voluntary, but advised people to wear them if in crowded settings or if suffering from health conditions.

Thailand has suffered more than 30,000 COVID-19 deaths overall, but has largely contained its outbreaks, helped by a vaccination rate of more than 80%.

© Thomson Reuters 2022.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

6 Comments
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Country after country is dropping all draconian restrictions and adopting a non-discrimination policy towards visitors.

Diversity, inclusion and tolerance is winning.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Yeah, well done, Bronco. The world’s got this thing on the run, for now at least, and you didn’t have to lift a finger to help.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Thailand announced on Friday it would abandon its much-criticized pre-registration process for foreign visitors and no longer require face masks to be worn in public, responding to a slower COVID-19 spread.

Perfect time to visit now; barely any tourists, no crowds at the popular tourist sites, low hotel prices.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Already have my ticket for a week of relaxation...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Country after country is dropping all draconian restrictions and adopting a non-discrimination policy towards visitors.

Diversity, inclusion and tolerance is winning.

What does diversity and inclusion have to do with it?

I do fancy visiting now though while it's quiet

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I guess Japan could take a cue from this...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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