Despite gaining Cabinet approval, the “travel bubble” proposal was rejected by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) because the scheme does not make any provisions for a 14-day quarantine.
The drafters of the scheme decided not to include the quarantine period for fear visitors will lose their appetite for travel, though CCSA believes this will open the door to a second wave of infections.
There has not been a single new case domestically for 24 days, while those who have imported infections are being kept under state-controlled quarantine.
CCSA said it will reconsider the travel bubble scheme if related agencies come up with interesting measures, like offering visitors quarantine in hotels or villas as proposed by the Tourism Council. The council has said that a public hearing is required before these measures can be applied.
Meanwhile, Anutin Charnvirakul, Public Health Minister said Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoen, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, has been appointed to come up with ideas about implementing the travel bubble scheme.
Separately, the ambassadors of Japan and Switzerland are talking to the government on how best to apply the concept of matching countries in the travel bubble, as it is based on each country’s disease control and the economy.
Each country will sign a memorandum of understanding related to the travel bubble, and the pact will be terminated if an outbreak occurs in a partner country.
All suggestions will be proposed to the prime minister and the CCSA on June 26.