Thailand may let you in quarantine free if you have been fully vaccinated, once our borders open.
Want a good piece of news to cling onto? With every day, scientists and virologists seem more and more assured that once vaccinated, people are unlikely or entirely unable to spread covid-19. If they do not get it, they cannot spread it – or something like that. The growing consensus is huge news for travel, as many countries seek to make notable exceptions to each policy in place if you have been vaccinated.
According to the Financial Times, a massive campaign is underway in Thailand urging the government to drop quarantine requirements for all travellers, regardless of origin, with proof of receiving both vaccination jabs, and at least two weeks since the second dose was issued.
In the last week, the Seychelles, the United States and a variety of countries issued similar notable exceptions to entry rules or dropped quarantine for anyone with proof of vaccination. Hawaii is independently reviewing an identical move.
That travel trend is expected to balloon in the coming weeks, as more conclusive studies are released, prompting border authorities to reconsider current restrictions.
Thailand’s approach to bringing back its vital tourism sector has been admiringly creative with lengthy processes.
But more recent developments have been positive, with the relaxing of requirements needed to enter the country, and visa free arrivals from most countries, with the requirement of a strict, mandatory 14-day quarantine in a monitored hotel, at your own expense.
An elimination of quarantine for travellers with conclusive proof of vaccination would be a significant step in safely rebooting travel demand to Thailand, and provide a safe way to dig out of the incredible hole the tourism sector finds itself in.
Tourism accounts for circa 22% of GDP, and millions of jobs in Thailand.
Thailand expects to rollout vaccination for locals by 14 February, which combined with allowing in more vaccinated travellers would be a welcomed lift for many struggling businesses, particularly on Thailand’s famous islands including Koh Samui and Phi Phi, which have been among the hardest hit.
It’s expected that if the measure is approved, vaccinated travellers would still be asked to provide a negative covid-19 test prior to travel. Tanes Petsuwan, Thailand’s Deputy Governor of Tourism responded to the appeal by travel industry groups with a positive tone, stating…
“I believe they’re (Thai Government) considering it very carefully. It’s a positive sign”.
Vaccines are not a one-stop solution, but the science is increasingly promising that they will make the most significant impact in restoring international movement and the vital tourism it brings globally.
While it initially appeared like it could be years before you would be able to visit Thailand again with ease, vaccines may soon allow that within mere months. If vaccines succeed in reducing overall death figures, that could trickle down to those without vaccination, who can prove they are not currently infected as well.
The first half of 2021 remains a minefield for travel, but the second half still looks to be incredibly promising. It is hard to think of a much better destination to reconnect with than Thailand.
Written by Joe Cusmano