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Thai Health Minister to chair panel on travel bubbles, vaccine passports



PHOTO: Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Thailand’s Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, will chair a meeting on Monday, in which a vaccine passport scheme and potential travel bubbles will be discussed. Anutin says those who’ve been inoculated against Covid-19 will be issued with a book to confirm their vaccination. It’s hoped this will make international travel easier, as well as boosting the public’s confidence and helping life return to some kind of normality.

“The Public Health Ministry is making preparations to bring life back to normal, restore businesses and revive the Thai economy.”

A number of groups and industry representatives have added their voices to growing calls for a vaccine passport policy. The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking is urging the government to implement the scheme without further delay, while also calling for private companies in Thailand to be allowed purchase and distribute vaccines.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is also pushing for a vaccine passport policy, while the Tourism Ministry has urged the Health Ministry to approve one. Meanwhile the PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked the Foreign Ministry to carry out a study on vaccine passports, adding that the jury is still out as to their effectiveness. They also have their critics, primarily among rights’ groups and doctors, who argue that there is not yet enough evidence that vaccination prevents transmission.

At Monday’s meeting of the National Communicable Diseases Committee, the Anutin-led panel will also discuss the idea of travel bubbles. Thailand has been considering entering into reciprocal travel arrangements with countries with a high take-up of Covid-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, Anutin says the public must continue with the practice of mask-wearing, noting that the number of Thais doing so has recently slipped. He says that recent data shows the number of people wearing masks has dropped below 80%, compared to 90% last month.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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  1. Andy W

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    This should have taken place at least 3 months ago and a draft/provisional plan agreed (obviously subject to vaccine etc data).

  2. Billy Barty

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    I have a feeling the vaccine passport will happen.
    The travel bubbles scheme, on the other hand, will only work for a small percentage of travelers: like .008%

    Thailand is like teflon. It always recovers. I was there for the coups, floods, yellow shirts, and red shirts. Being one of the world’s most popular destinations, the tourism will make a remarkably fast recovery once the government makes a commitment to open. Closed businesses will reopen. Hotels will swiftly start up again.

    I never could understand commenters (and articles here) that predict years for for the tourism to recover. Nonsense!

    Disclosure: I am in the hotel biz.

  3. Rick

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    Not only is there no evidence that these “vaccines” prevent transmission (or infection) all of them are still in the testing phase and they are still experimental. Not to mention that the mRNA “vaccines” are not vaccines at all as they are an experimental gene therapy and they are not vaccines by definition.
    And might I suggest that before any studies are intiated on whether these “vaccines” prevent transmission, how about an honest study on whether the “virus” even exists at all as that is still in doubt. What an amazing clown world we now live in!

  4. EdwardV

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    Sounds promising,. I’m thinking Thailand will agree to a vaccine passport and allowing vaccinated tourists to return without a long quarantine. Maybe without a quarantine at all. It’s just a question of when. I do wonder why they are pressing so hard to open in July. It’s low season and they could just push it off to October without much loss. Would give them some more time to vaccinate the population. I’m thinking the economy is in much worse shape than they are letting on.

  5. Toby Andrews

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    I think any recovery this time will be different.
    All the hotel lost deposits. All the lost flights with no refunds.
    All the business persons who could not return unless they went through an expensive quarantine.
    All the banned flights OUT.
    All the unnecessary bans, such as no walking on the beach!
    Curfews. No drinking.
    And then do people want to spend money in a country where students are jailed fro protesting, and for objecting to the king!
    The world has seen the real face of the Thai now, and it is not smiling.

  6. per_fect

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    The problem now is not if/when the quarantine will be removed. It’s a matter of trust and I wouldnt travel half way over the world to let these dudes dictate and change the rules. Simply put they have shown how fragile they are, it’s basically to risky to go. And on top of this they use force against everyone, kind of like “if you don´t agree with us we will make sure to punish you!” For now they are offering nothing but beaches and sunshine, it can be found in numerous places.

    I would like to go back, but I wont as long as those clowns tries to run the show.

  7. Ben

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    The Health Ministry is the key entity to opening up the country without quarantine. If they go along with the Tourism lobbyists and open too soon, and the virus enters and spreads like wildfire, then they’ll have egg on their faces. That’s not going to happen.

    Let’s hope the scientists show results the vaccinated don’t spread the virus. That’ll be the quickest route to reopening. If not then when most of the population is vaccinated.

    I recently listed the reasons I go to Thailand and all are still valid. Billy Barty is right. Rick is in denial – just ask the 2.6 million people that have died. Oh you can’t because they’re dead. I’ve finished getting my 2 jabs and will resume life by going to Thailand next week.

  8. James R

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    But will people want to go to Thailand on holiday?

    In England for instance we have had 20 million people vaccinated so far including me and my family, and the rate is increasing, currently 400,000 a day are being vaccinated and within a few months we will all (well all sensible people) will have had the jab.

    But the question is as we all know, the virus can mutate and so if it is still around in Thailand then it can mutate and we the vaccinated would be able to catch the new strain so why would we want to go to a country with no mass vaccination plan in place?

    I am not talking about a few thousand supplies here and there, it needs to be in the tens of millions.

  9. Ian

    Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 1:55 am

    Ben they already have egg in third faces and blood on thier hands don’t sit on the fence you usually do, be brave you supposedly live in the land of the brave so don’t give in to this dictatorship if we are vaccined and given a test on departure and entry we should be ok we are gonna be ok don’t worry I know Your old but you’ll be ok we are all responsible and want the best for Thailand even if the dictatorship doesn’t

  10. TC

    Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 7:07 am

    Billy, Rick is on the money. If they genuinely believe this flu is as big a concern as they have been telling us there will be no vaccine based travel.
    The vaccine is still experimental and will be for at least 12 months. Then there are other variants of the virus.
    The smart countries like Sweden and some states in the US will just get on with life. The majority will not as time is showing just how incompetent most world leaders are today.
    If a bubble does develop clearly it will feature only the Asean “friends”. This is actually hilarious as most Thais I encounter hate the Chinese, who gifted us a world crisis, and the Indians. Not sure the Koreans feature much higher but the Thia Govt appears convinced none of its friends are sex tourists. 5555.

  11. Andy W

    Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    TC, there are a few Thai-chinese that love Chinese tourists because they make a fortune from them.
    Although it’s true that most Thais (even most of those employed in the tourist business) don’t earn a baht from them and dislike them immensely.
    But those Thai-chinese have a lot of influence over the decision makers.

  12. Ben

    Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    Ian, when I go to Thailand I’m a guest. I follow their laws and don’t get involved in their politics. It’s their country to run. If it bothers me enough I just don’t go.

    Most tourists destinations don’t really like the tourists that show up. They like the money they spend.

    The Chinese think they’re the best. The Americans think they’re the best. The western Europeans think they’re the best. The Japanese think they’re the best. Guess what? The Thai’s think they’re the best too. Anytime a foreigner comes into your country, with an air of arrogance, they’re not well received. But they’re received, with reluctance, if they have a lot of money to spend.


    Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    ANUTIN…. Now here’s the definition of a ‘forehead trombone’ if there ever was one!! or, put another way…”an’ out an’ out CUNT!’

  14. EdwardV

    Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    Ben, to be fair even the Chinese don’t like Chinese tourists. At least that was the way it was explained to me by my Chinese tour guide while in China.

  15. Clive goodwin

    Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    You can stick the vaccine passport. Make sure there’s loads of pages in it. They’ll be wanting you to take your poison at least a couple of times each year. Based on what I’ve researched, I suspect the grand plan Is population control. Especially the African and Latino populations. Gates funded schemes have already tried this in Africa With the renamed Fadella contraceptive implant. So successful that 50,000 women are pursuing compensation.

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