Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Health experts weigh in on risks of re-opening Thailand without quarantine



PHOTO: Flickr/Daz Bergman

Following Monday night’s announcement by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha that Thailand will re-open quarantine-free for select vaccinated tourists from November, health experts have voiced concern. The Bangkok Post reports that some prominent medics are worried re-opening without quarantine will provoke a surge in Covid-19 infections.

Thira Woratanarat from the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University has warned that daily case numbers could end up doubling – and continue doubling every 3 weeks – as a result of the move. Thiravat Hemachudha from the Thai Red Cross says he supports the re-opening, but does have concerns about it triggering another wave of infections. Meanwhile, virologist Anan Jongkaewwattana asks a very pertinent question.

“If 100,000 tourists visit, how will we do PCR tests because we have never done so many before?”

The tourism minister is not to be deterred, however. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says the Tourism Authority of Thailand has been preparing for this for a long time, starting with the sandbox models in prominent tourism destinations, with plans to expand it further in November. He says the re-opening plans of other countries, including Singapore, have prompted the PM’s new policy, given that several other countries have already opened without quarantine.

“This is a competition to draw tourists in. So, if we still impose a Covid-19 quarantine on them, such as for 7 days, we won’t be able to compete well with other countries. The November 1 re-opening plan will attract a large number of tourists to Thailand between this year’s last quarter and the first quarter of next year.”

Phiphat says the Public Health Ministry is making arrangements to accelerate the Covid-19 testing process at airports, adding that more details of the re-opening plan and which countries it will apply to will be confirmed shortly.

“More details of the re-opening plan are expected to be discussed at the next meeting of the CCSA tomorrow.”

The UK, the US, Germany, and China are reported to be on the list (despite the fact that China’s citizens are currently barred from overseas travel) and Phiphat says more Asian nations, including Singapore, could be added.

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Video10 hours ago

Thailand News Today | 9 year olds smoke cannabis on Pattaya Beach in Thailand

Economy11 hours ago

Thai baht soars to six-month high against US dollar

Pattaya11 hours ago

Motorcycle taxi riders rally against unlicensed ride-share app drivers in Pattaya

Sponsored18 hours ago

Where you can get cannabis in Bangkok

Pollution12 hours ago

Over 100 tonnes of garbage estimated near Phuket Fishing Port

Thailand12 hours ago

Stop giving monkeys cigarettes, beg locals in Lop Buri, Thailand

Thailand12 hours ago

World Cup broadcasting soap opera drama rumbles on

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Transport12 hours ago

Thai Vietjet plans new routes to China, India, Japan, Vietnam

Crime13 hours ago

Police arrest weight loss pill executive for causing 4 deaths in Thailand

Phang Nga13 hours ago

Phang Nga officials find more leatherback turtle eggs

Tourism13 hours ago

Thai AirAsia Melbourne and Sydney connections take to the air

Bangkok14 hours ago

Fireworks to dazzle Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River area on New Year’s Eve

Medical14 hours ago

Resurgence of AIDS in Thailand overshadows UNAIDS summit

Phuket14 hours ago

Thai VietJet cancels Phuket – Bangkok flight last minute over 1 extra passenger

Food15 hours ago

Thailand’s top cheesemaker toasts his own success

Crime15 hours ago

New details unfolding over alleged assault by Pattaya loan sharks

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11