Thailand U-turns on Covid-19 vaccine entry requirement

Just days after Thailand reintroduced the two-dose Covid-19 vaccine entry requirement, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says the requirement will be dropped with immediate effect.

However, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has informed airlines globally that unvaccinated tourists must provide either proof of recovery from Covid in the past six months or a doctor’s note explaining why they are not vaccinated.

Airlines are under current instructions not to let unvaccinated passengers board the plane to Thailand unless they have either of the aforementioned documents.

If Anutin’s most recent statement is true, perhaps the CAAT is in the process of updating airlines about the sudden U-turn in imposed entry restrictions. However, it will likely take some time for the new information to filter down to check-in desks at airports around the world.

After welcoming Chinese tourists at Suvarnabhumi Airport today, Anutin told reporters that Thailand would immediately cancel the vaccine requirement, citing…

“Most people in Thailand, and all countries of the world, are vaccinated against Covid-19. Having to prove it with documentation is inconvenient and unnecessary.”

Thailand welcomed its first post-pandemic flight from China this morning and expects 3,465 passengers from China to arrive over the course of the day, said Anutin.

The Thai government’s flip-flopping on reinstating Covid requirements has caused a sudden mass cancellation of hotel bookings as people cancel their trips out of fear they won’t meet the requirements.

Thailand is implementing several entry restrictions today, January 9, to mitigate the risk of importing a caseload of Covid from China, where the virus is rampant after China finally opened its borders today.

An influx of Chinese tourists to Thailand is expected from today onward.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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