Thailand is cutting the mandatory quarantine period for inbound travelers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Thailand’s Health Minister Monday announced that starting next month, all visitors who have been vaccinated within three months prior to arrival to Thailand will now be required to quarantine for 7-days. Previously, the country had been requiring a 14-day quarantine.
Visitors will still be required to show a negative COVID-19 test within three days of travel. Those who have yet to be vaccinated will also now be required to quarantine for 10-days. However, the news is another step towards the slow normalization of another international travel border.
Thailand expects to continue to slowly lift restrictions—according to the Health Minister, the quarantine period could be waived completely by October if the country can vaccine at least 70% of first responders and at-risk groups in the country.
So far, according to Reuters, Thailand has been able to vaccinate just over 27,000 people, but help is on the way—the government has ordered more than 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and is expected to kick-off mass vaccinations in June.
According to Worldometers, Thailand has had 26,441 COVID-19 cases with 84 deaths since the pandemic began last year. The case total however has jumped up since the end of 2020—from December to March the case number increased more than 500%, going from about 4,200 cases at the end of December to more than 26,000 in March.
Some of that success keeping COVID-19 numbers low has been attributed to the country’s international flight ban that started in April 2020, something that it then began winding down later last summer.
However, COVID-19 and the rules that the country imposed to deal with the virus have also caused a plunge in tourist numbers. According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, foreign tourists plunge to under 7 million in 2020, down from almost 40 million in 2019.