Covid-19 restrictions to be lifted from October 1

Visitors to Thailand will soon be free of showing a Covid-19 vaccination or test certificate as of October 1. The changes were announced by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul after a meeting with the National Communicable Disease Committee today. In that meeting, it was also deemed to be unnecessary for people with mild or no symptoms of the virus to enter isolation.

Anutin says the committee decided to redefine Covid-19 as a communicable disease under surveillance. New measures would be adopted based on locals, visitors and infected people. Such measures include advising infected people to continue to use face masks and increasing hand washing and social distancing for five days. After the five days, the restriction that would normally require a Covid test has been lifted as well.

The move comes as the Department of Disease Control deputy director-general concluded that current coronavirus symptoms are not appearing to be severe with many infected people displaying only cold-like symptoms. But, infected people may have to follow specialised disease control policies at their workplaces that could be more strict.

The Thai government has been planning to move to a post-pandemic era for some time with health officials describing the situation as more of an endemic, rather than a pandemic. Just two days ago, the cabinet removed the virus from a list of forbidden diseases among foreign visitors, essentially allowing foreigners to enter the kingdom even if they are infected with the virus. But, those with “dangerous” stages of leprosy or tuberculosis, symptomatic elephantiasis, third-stage syphilis, and drug abuse-related diseases are still banned from entering. Those deemed to have chronic alcoholism are also banned from entering.

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Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri says about five million tourists have arrived in Thailand this year. One million of those have arrived just this month alone. The government previously set a target of at least 10 million foreign tourists to Thailand for this year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post /Thai PBS World

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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