Travel bubbles for foreign travel to be discussed on Wednesday

More information has emerged today about the proposed travel-bubble arrangements for foreigners coming to Thailand in the short term. Travel-bubble tourism will include limits on destinations and visitor numbers. There will also be restrictions on the origins of the inbound flights. The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has addressed the issue with media this morning.

The travel bubbles would be reciprocal arrangements between cities and countries with a shared low-risk Covid 19 status.

The PM confirmed that the government is still deciding on the areas of the country where visitors and tourists will be allowed to go and how much flexibility they will have on their travel arrangements. He said that areas available for a tourist or foreign traveller reboot will have to have strict policies in place with their businesses to ensure adherence to social distancing.

“Tourists will not be able to roam, but to go only to places that are opened to them and have disease control capabilities. This is the guideline for the reception of foreign tourists. I think it is safe and better than liberalised tourism.”

“There must be regulations for this before international tourism resumes. We will do it in a step-by-step manner. We will see if the countries that cooperate with us also have collaboration at a city-to-city level.”

“Tourists must also have health certificates.”

“Travellers would continue to face strict examination at border entry checkpoints.”

The PM says the government was still deliberating which areas visitors would be allowed to go to when the ban on tourism is lifted. A meeting to decide on the future of travel bubbles, the restrictions imposed on foreign visitors, and the countries considered ‘safe’, will be discussed this Wednesday.

No dates for a resumption of any foreign inbound travel has been announced. But a ban on inbound travel remains in play until at least the end of June. Repatriation flights for Thai citizens continues this month.

The PM also alluded to ‘cities’ rather than ‘countries’ for the proposed travel bubbles.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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