Thai travel agents call for vaccinated foreigners to be exempt from quarantine by third quarter of 2021

PHOTO: MedPage Today

The Association of Thai Travel Agents is urging the government to do away with the mandatory 14 day quarantine for vaccinated foreign arrivals by the third quarter of the year. The president of the ATTA, Vichit Prakobgosol, says 30% of 10,000 inbound tourism firms have had to close for good due to the financial devastation caused by the pandemic.

He adds that a further 50% have closed temporarily since Thailand shut its borders, with only 20% of inbound tourism companies still operating. Those still in business have survived by shifting their focus to domestic tourists but are now suffering as a result of the resurgence of Covid-19. Vichit says that in order to help them survive, the government must focus on getting the second wave under control by next month and bring cases of local transmission down into double digits.

“If the number of infections has reduced from hundreds to tens, it should create trust and a better tourism atmosphere. It is believed that in the third quarter of 2021, there will be more foreign tourists visiting the country and the tourism sector will recover more than 80% in 2022. This will, without a doubt, gradually solve the country’s struggling economy.”

Vichit adds that with vaccination programmes already underway in many countries around the world, including Thailand’s tourist markets of China and Southeast Asia, tourists who can prove they’ve been vaccinated should be exempt from mandatory quarantine.

“Approximately, more than 1 billion people around the world will have completed 2 doses of Covid-19 vaccinations later this year and many will desperately want to travel abroad after over a year of being locked down at home. Therefore, we would like the government to put measures in to accommodate and attract this group of people to travel in Thailand without a 14-day quarantine.”

He adds that the rollout of the first Covid-19 vaccine to arrive in the Kingdom next month may go some way to reducing concerns among Thais.

“Moreover, the earlier announcement of the arrival of Covid-19 vaccination in Thailand by February might have caused less stress and concern among Thai people when welcoming foreign tourists. We predict the majority of vulnerable and at risk people will be vaccinated by the third quarter in Thailand based on the government’s current plan, which should allow vaccinated people to enter with no quarantine.”

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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