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Thailand looking at quarantine waiver for selected tourists

The Thai authorities are mulling over waiving quarantine requirements for selected foreign travellers when the ban on incoming commercial flights is lifted, by matching tourists from low-risk countries with low-risk destinations within the kingdom.

“This concept involves identifying low-risk areas in Thailand and overseas to create a sort of international tourist bridge or pipeline linking travellers between these two areas,” the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) deputy governor for international marketing Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya told The Straits Times.

Incoming commercial flights have been banned till the end of next month, and passengers arriving from high-risk countries on other flights, such as state, military, humanitarian and cargo flights, are subject to a 14-day quarantine.

“There will be hygiene and travel measures to be agreed upon by both the sender country and the receiver country, the entry formalities to facilitate such kind of travel and identifying which type of travellers we would target for this scheme,” said Mr Chattan.

Islands and “compact” tourist areas within Thailand will be picked initially for this proposed scheme as they are easier to manage, he said. “Tourists would be free to travel within those areas for a specified period.”

The tourism authority also plans to promote Thailand to health-conscious travellers.

Mr Chattan added: “Singapore has always been a good golf market for Thailand, and the post-Covid-19 period will see TAT promoting golfing in Thailand in combination with more short car and train trips in the country.”

For now though, TAT plans to stimulate local tourism.

“International travel into Thailand is unlikely to be of significance until domestic travel by Thais is considerably widespread, because it would show the country as being able to manage the Covid-19 situation as well as having the needed infrastructure and services in place to carry travel in the country,” Mr Chattan said.

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