Tourism operators submit letter to PM calling for all entry restrictions to be lifted

PHOTO: Facebook/Suvarnabhumi Airport

A number of groups representing tourism operators in the south and east of the country, as well as the Thai Hotels Association, are calling for all entry restrictions to be lifted from next month. The Bangkok Post reports that the groups have written an open letter to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and other government officials, calling for the country to be fully re-opened to foreign visitors from March.

In the letter, the groups say they want all entry restrictions ditched, including the Thailand Pass and PCR testing on arrival, and want Covid-19 declared endemic. They point to several other countries, including Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, where nearly all Covid restrictions have been cancelled and the virus declared endemic.

“Thailand needs to further relax Covid-19 restrictions for tourists now, or else it may lose the ability to compete with other nations.”

The Philippines recently lifted the requirement for PCR testing on arrival for foreign visitors, while Vietnam has confirmed it will re-open to foreign tourism in March. Vietnam’s entry requirements are similar to what Thailand had originally – before Test & Go was given a makeover. Foreign arrivals have to quarantine for 24 hours, and test negative for Covid-19 before departure and upon arrival.

In their letter, tourism representatives say the government needs to do away with repeat PCR tests for foreign tourists from next month. They add that April is an important month for tourism, as Easter is a popular time for foreigners to travel and many come to Thailand for the Songkran holiday.

The letter goes on to cite the low number of infections found during PCR tests on overseas arrivals. Using data from Phuket between February 1 and 13, the letter states that the infection rate among overseas arrivals was 2.17% on day 1 and 3.56% on day 5.

“Still, these infected tourists have apparently not caused any burden on the country’s healthcare system as their infection rate is very close to that of the common flu.”

SOURCE: The Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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