Thai government still working on criteria for travel bubble arrangements

PHOTO: Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says he has appointed “two senior figures” to determine the criteria for “travel bubble” agreements with other countries. According to a report in Nation Thailand, the Public Health ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Supakit Sirilak, and the director-general of the Department of Disease Control, Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, will set the conditions that must be met for entry into a travel pact with Thailand.

According to Dr. Suwanchai, these will include requiring potential partner countries to show a continuous downward trend in the number of locally transmitted Covid-19 cases, as well as having the medical capacity to treat Covid-19 patients. Any travel agreement will only be with countries that can demonstrate they have the virus under control, with minister Anutin saying a number of countries have expressed interest in partnering with Thailand.

The government has already expressed they are developing the travel bubbles to avoid inbound passengers having to complete a 14 day quarantine when they arrive.

“Numerous embassies have submitted documents to Thailand for the purpose, such as Japan and Switzerland, with whom we will hold discussions soon. The topics to be discussed will include screening measures upon arrival, candidate selection criteria and preventive measures that must be implemented by both the host and visiting countries.”

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It’s understood any travel bubble agreement will consist of a memorandum of understanding between both countries, which can be cancelled in the event of a significant resurgence of the virus in either country. It’s expected, that to begin with, only business travellers and work permit holders will be given permission to enter Thailand.

“Initially, we will allow only businessmen, technicians, professors and those who have valid work permits to enter our nation, before permitting tourists. We expect to submit the meeting result to the PM and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration next Friday, June 26.”

Bottomline, July 1 will not see Thailand’s immigration gates flung open to tourists. We will continue to publish all the latest news about Thailand’s travel bubbles as soon as it becomes available.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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