Thailand has canceled an entry policy announced over the weekend requiring visitors to present proof of their COVID-19 vaccinations, the country’s health minister said on Monday, citing adequate vaccination levels. in China and globally.
Anutin Charnvirakul said it was inconvenient to check proof of vaccinations and a group of medical experts had agreed to withdraw the new rule, announced Saturday by aviation authorities in front of an expected large number of travelers. come from China, where COVID-19 cases have increased.
Anutin Charnvirakul said unvaccinated people will also be allowed to enter the country without restrictions.
“Giving proof of vaccination would be cumbersome and inconvenient, so the team decided it was unnecessary,” Anutin told reporters.
As one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, Thailand is welcoming a large number of visitors in its first peak season since the lifting of tight entry restrictions last year that crippled the country’s tourism industry. This country fell.
In November, it recorded 1.75 million visitors, a quadrupling from last year as flights and foreign arrivals were restricted.
China is very important to Thailand, accounting for about a quarter of annual visitors before the pandemic. Anutin said the government is now expecting 7-10 million Chinese visitors, compared with an earlier estimate of 5 million.
The first flight from China arrived in Thailand on Monday with the first group of 3,465 passengers expected on the first day.
“We are very excited to be back in Thailand. We have been waiting for three years,” said Wang Zhenyin, 39, one of the first to arrive in Thailand.
“Before the start of COVID, we came here every year. And this time I brought my family here.”
Thailand’s tourism agency expects arrivals last year to exceed 11.5 million, just over a quarter of the previous record of nearly 40 million in 2019 before the pandemic, which spent around 1 million. .91 trillion baht ($55.17 billion).
The vaccine regulatory change to follow a similar Thailand policy during the pandemic has caused widespread confusion among travelers about the country’s entry requirements.
Anutin said Thailand will still require foreigners to present proof of health insurance coverage for COVID-19 if their next destination requires a negative test prior to entry.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)
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