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FTI wants Test & Go dropped, all entry restrictions lifted for vaccinated arrivals

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: PR Bangkok

The Federation of Thai Industries is urging the government to ditch the Test & Go scheme and to lift all entry restrictions for vaccinated tourists. According to a Bangkok Post report, the industry body is calling for an end to quarantine and PCR testing in a bid to restore the country’s shattered tourism sector. Chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree says he will discuss the matter with the CCSA when it meets later today.

“Thailand should allow foreign tourists who already received 2 doses of vaccines to enter the country without going through those screening measures.”

Supant adds that international arrivals should only be required to show proof of vaccination in order to enter the country.

Earlier this week, the Public Health Ministry said it would be proposing easing some entry restrictions at today’s CCSA meeting. Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit says the ministry will propose lifting the requirement for a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure from the home country. However, the ministry is still proposing to keep PCR testing on arrival, in addition to a self-administered antigen test on day 5. Officials are also proposing to reduce mandatory Covid insurance coverage to US$10,000.

Thailand’s tourism sector is coming under increasing pressure as neighbouring countries ease border restrictions or lift them completely. Many would-be tourists point out that the requirement to undergo a PCR test on arrival in the kingdom, risking a ruined holiday and expensive quarantine, is the main deterrent that prevents them travelling to Thailand.

In November 2021, Thailand “re-opened” its borders to much pomp and ceremony, but the strict requirements and onerous paperwork have put off all but the most determined travellers. The fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not helped. This year, the government is aiming for between 5 and 6 million foreign tourists. Supant says it’s going to have to relax a lot more measures than those currently proposed if that’s to become a reality.

“The high season for tourism lasts until March or April. If the government abandons these measures, it can benefit the tourism sector and help put economic recovery on a fast track.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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