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TAT thinking up ways quarantine might be relaxed for tourists returning from Thailand

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Chuttersnap on Unsplash

The ever-inventive Tourism Authority of Thailand is looking at ways quarantine might be eased for tourists visiting Thailand, both on arrival here and on their return home. TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn says “city bubbles” and activity-based travel arrangements in sandbox destinations could be the way forward. The arrangement would be between low-risk cities and would mean tourists could visit destinations considered “safe” in Thailand’s sandbox programme.

“Even though international arrivals can visit sandbox areas with quarantine-free entry, they might face quarantine back home as Thailand is still perceived as high risk.”

Yuthasak has been busy thinking about who could be targeted in the TAT’s latest scheme and has settled on those getting married and those trying for a baby. He is proposing “wedding bubbles” and “baby bubbles” for foreign tourists seeking IVF treatment.

The Bangkok Post reports that the plan is for the TAT to work with the Foreign Ministry to get the message out to embassies in Thailand that places like Phuket and Koh Samui have a low infection rate and are safe destinations. According to Yuthasak, the idea is to boost confidence in Thailand’s safety, thereby persuading countries to relax quarantine requirements for tourists returning home from the Kingdom. The need for quarantine on returning from Thailand is seen by many as a significant threat to the success of the forthcoming Phuket sandbox initiative, which launches on July 1.

Yuthasak remains hopeful that, as China prepares to host the 2022 Winter Games, its government might relax travel restrictions for its citizens during the Golden Week holiday period in October. He believes doing so would be a good way to test China’s planned re-opening for the games in February.

In other news, TAT officials have signed an agreement with the Thai Chamber of Commerce to launch an initiative called Hug Thais, to encourage domestic tourism and spending, including offering domestic tourists special deals to visit Phuket.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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