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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 measures and safety restrictions to be reviewed at the end of the month

Maya Taylor

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Covid-19 measures and safety restrictions to be reviewed at the end of the month | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

The government’s Covid-19 task force is to review current restrictions at the end of the month, but spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin says it’s too early to think about lifting them, particularly in provinces designated “highly-controlled”. He adds that while nearly all cases of the virus are being traced and managed, the government cannot promise that rules will be eased or lifted by the end of January. The CCSA will review the Covid situation in the country and may consider revising the status of some provinces.

While provincial governors have been given authority to set their own restrictions, some rules have come from the top, particularly for “highly-controlled” provinces like Chon Buri and Rayong in the east of the country. There are travel restrictions in place in many areas and bars and other entertainment venues have been shut.

The Pattaya News reports that the governors of Chon Buri and Rayong, as well as the spokesman for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, all echo the sentiments of the CCSA. Officials are calling for patience, promising that measures will be lifted as soon as it’s safe to do so. The measures have been a tough call for popular tourist destinations in the east of the country, such as Koh Chang in Trat, and Pattaya and Bangsaen in Chon Buri. The southern island of Phuket is also suffering as a result of strict restrictions imposed on people entering the province, which are likely to prove a deterrent for domestic tourists.

Meanwhile, hotels in Chon Buri continue to plead for a mandatory closure order, so that employees can qualify for state aid. To date, the plea has fallen on deaf ears.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Second batch of China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to arrive in Thailand on March 25

The Thaiger

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Second batch of China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to arrive in Thailand on March 25 | The Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/ อนุทิน ชาญวีรกูล (Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul)

A second order of China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines are expected to arrive on March 25, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced today. 800,000 doses are set to be sent to Thailand later this month.

Along with informing the Thai government on the expected arrival date for the vaccines, Chinese officials also asked that the Thai government consider vaccinating Chinese nationals who are living in Thailand and establishing of a China Immunisation Centre for Overseas Chinese. Nation Thailand reports “Thailand will continue to seek support for the vaccine from China as a friend.”

There’s also talk of a travel bubble between the 2 countries for those who are vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The first batch of 200,000 doses arrived last month along with another shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Altogether, the Thai government ordered 2 million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Travellers undergoing yacht quarantine to wear wristbands to track location and monitor health

The Thaiger

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Travellers undergoing yacht quarantine to wear wristbands to track location and monitor health | The Thaiger
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Foreign tourists travelling to Thailand by yacht and undergoing the mandatory quarantine period onboard the vessel will be asked to wear a smart wristband to monitor their health and track their location. The Digital Economy Promotion Agency teamed up with Advanced Info Service, known as AIS, and Phuket tourism operators to launch the so-called “Digital Yacht Quarantine” programme.

Apparently, tourist disappearances aren’t that uncommon and the digital tracking wristbands will help make sure tourists are safe. Here’s what the Bangkok Post wrote:

The use of the wristband also ensures the safety of tourists as about two tourists disappear from Phuket each month while travelling and it costs 4-5 million baht to search for each person.

Along with tracking location, the smart wristbands also monitor pulse, blood pressure and body temperature. If there is an emergency, an alert will be sent to authorities.

The yacht quarantine is expected to bring in 1.8 billion baht in tourism revenue, according to the Bangkok Post. About 100 yachts set to dock in Thailand with around 300 to 500 tourists are expected to undergo the onboard quarantine.

Since restrictions were imposed last year on international travel, tourism officials have been brainstorming ways to bring in foreign travellers safely, without risking the spread of the coronavirus, to help revive tourism dependent areas. Last year, Phuket lost 320 billion baht in revenue and the number of tourists on the island dropped from 40,000 to 50,000 visitors per day to just hundreds, according to the Post.

The agency’s president and chief executive Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin says the island province is a “magnet” tourist attraction.

“Tourism is a key sector where technology can be used to address the problem and boost travel.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand to issue vaccine certificate to everyone who gets 2 doses of Covid jab

Maya Taylor

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Thailand to issue vaccine certificate to everyone who gets 2 doses of Covid jab | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Thailand’s Public Health Minister says everyone who receives both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine will be issued with a vaccine certificate. The vaccine certificate will be similar to the vaccination books already in circulation for some time and used to prove inoculation against yellow fever. According to a Coconuts report, both the paper and online version of the certificate will cost 50 baht and will be available from hospitals administering the vaccines.

While there is currently no standard vaccine passport, with most countries waiting for World Health Organisation guidance on the matter, it’s hoped Thailand’s vaccine certificate could help citizens with international travel plans. Anutin says recipients can use them for international travel and the certificates will have a validity of 1 year.

The government is also considering a reduction in mandatory quarantine for vaccinated foreigners entering the Kingdom. A proposal going before the government’s Covid-19 task force on Monday includes cutting quarantine to 7 days for vaccinated visitors or reducing it to 10 days for unvaccinated arrivals who have tested negative 72 hours prior to travel. It’s understood the 7 day quarantine would apply to travellers who have been vaccinated for at least 2 weeks, but no longer than 3 months.

The proposals come as vaccine rollouts continue around the world, although Anutin points out that travellers from South Africa will not be eligible for reduced quarantine, due to the highly-contagious variant detected there, which health officials fear may be more resistant to vaccines.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister has even hinted at quarantine being cancelled completely if Thailand manages to inoculate 70% of people with underlying conditions and those working in the health and tourism sectors by October. Vaccine registration is set to kick-off in May, with the full national rollout beginning in June, when additional doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are expected to arrive.

SOURCE: Coconuts

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