Thailand to offer free Covid-19 booster shots to foreign tourists

Photo by Marco Verch Professional Photographer via Flickr and MOTS

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports Ministry (MOTS) announced its plans to provide free Covid-19 booster shots for foreign tourists entering Thailand next year. The disclosure will be welcomed by many who fear another Covid wave after China announced it will open its borders and relax quarantine measures. The MOTS also briefed the press that the government will introduce the controversial 300-baht entry fee in June.

MOTS minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn reported yesterday, December 28, that the ministry was preparing to welcome Chinese tourists after China’s National Health Commission announced the reopening of its borders on Monday, December 26.

Phiphat explained that the ministry plans to provide free Covid booster vaccines to incoming Chinese tourists and other nationalities if they require them. The minister said he would request approval at the first Cabinet meeting in January.

Phiphat said that the booster shots would be free and voluntary and not compulsory. The 67 year old minister believes it would draw more tourists to the country if free vaccines were made available.

“The Tourism and Sports Ministry will discuss the free vaccines with the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH). I personally think that it is worth it. One vaccine dose costs hundreds of baht, but one tourist spends over 40,000 baht on average for each visit. Thailand has one of the best public health systems in the world. We should take the best care of tourists’ health.”

Phiphat also urged the MOPH to offer leftover stock vaccines to tourism industry workers to prepare them for the expected increase in tourists.

Phiphat also discussed the controversial 300-baht entry fee for tourists next year.

He said he was waiting for the result of a survey study on the tourism fee collection before making a decision. The study results would be submitted to the Cabinet in February. If the Cabinet approves the collection fee will begin in June.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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