No, it’s not an April Fool’s Day prank. At yesterday’s CCSA meeting it was decided to formally drop the quarantine period to 10 and 7 days, and ditch the fit-to fly documents, previously required for anyone travelling to Thailand. This all starts on Thursday, April 1.
The CCSA meeting agreed to shorten the former mandatory 14 day quarantine period to 10 days, for arrivals without a vaccination certificate, and to 7 days for those with a vaccine certificate. Then from April 1 to September 30, quarantine facilities will remain operative under the new guidelines. The April 1 easing of some arrival restrictions is the latest in Thailand’s plan to have most restrictions lifted by October this year.
CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin announced that from April 1 visitors to Thailand would not be required to show a fit-to fly document. They will be allowed to carry a Covid-19-free certificate instead (basically a negative Covid test result).
But the 14 day quarantine period remains for people arriving from areas where the Covid-19 virus has ‘mutated’. Variant strains have been reported in some parts of the world. The CCSA singled out the African continent a week ago when mentioning the variant strains of the virus.
The John Hopkins University reports that one of the main concerns about Covid-19 variants is the unknown effect the current treatments and vaccines will have on the variant strains.
“The variant known as B.1.351, which was identified in South Africa, is getting a closer look from researchers, whose early data show that the Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford-AstraZeneca provided “minimal” protection from that version of the coronavirus. Those who became sick from the B.1.351 coronavirus variant after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine experienced mild or moderate illness.”
“The B.1.351 variant has not been shown to cause more severe illness than earlier versions. But there is a chance that it could give people who survived the original coronavirus another round of mild or moderate Covid-19.”
In an additional easing of restrictions for travellers to Thailand, from April 1 to June 30, new arrivals will be allowed to leave their rooms on the condition that “they comply with the public health measures”. This includes using fitness facilities, swimming pool and outdoor exercise areas, as well as to buy food and goods outside the hotel. Exactly how this will work in practice is yet to be announced.
“From July 1 to September 30, people will be able to eat in restaurants at their hotels and have health massages. From October 1, quarantine will only be required for people arriving from specified world regions.”
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