Thailand contemplates vaccine passport and shortening quarantine period
Thailand plans to discuss with the agencies concerned about the vaccine passport to set up the standard to issue the vaccine passport in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO)’s vaccine passport regulation for international travels and will also discuss the idea to shorten the quarantine period.
Director-General of the Disease Control Department, Dr Opas Karnkawinpong said Thais who are vaccinated against COVID-19 can ask for certificates as it is stipulated in the Communicable Disease Act. The authorized officials at the international disease control checkpoints or hospital directors can issue the certificate for the people who are fully vaccinated.
Dr Opas says the issue will be raised at the meeting of the National Infectious Diseases Committee on March 8 whether the certificate holders will be allowed to reduce the quarantine period or not.
The vaccine passport is under the consideration of the WHO and is scheduled to meet this week to formulate the standard and Thailand will wait for the announcement from the WHO.
On the other side, Tourism and Sports Ministry is pushing the government to adopt the vaccine passport plan to draw foreign tourists, which will revive the economy during the second half the year.
Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn said there are discussions between his ministry, Tourism Authority of Thailand and tourism operators about the progress of the vaccine passport.
If Thailand adopts the vaccine passport plan, it could guarantee the safety and will eventually draw more foreign visitors to Thailand. The vaccine passport will follow the same pattern of the WHO’s regulations.
His ministry will propose the issue to Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul to consider this week to further discuss with the agencies concerned.
He believes that when the vaccine passport plan is rolled out, it can build confidence among foreign tourists to return to Thailand within six months.