The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has approved in principle, the easing of restrictions on international arrivals, according to CCSA Spokesman Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin.
Further easing of travel restrictions will depend on the number of new infections after Songkran and an evaluation of the overall situation. Taweesilp Wisanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said a meeting of the CCSA on Friday recognised the needs for an easing of restrictions in order to attract greater number of tourists to help the ailing Thai tourism industry.
It was stated that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, is holding off committing to certain changes to restrictions for now, as “The prime minister wants to see the (Covid) figures after Songkran,” he said.
The proposed relaxation will affect those who arrive in Thailand under “Test and Go”, “Sandbox” and “Alternative Quarantine” programs. They include the reduction of the US$20,000 insurance coverage requirement, fewer documents required for the “Thailand Pass”, the replacement of the RT-PCR test upon arrival with rapid antigen tests, negating the need for a hotel stay to wait for the results, and a shortening of the quarantine period for infected visitors with mild symptoms.
It has been recognised that existing measures have prevented Thailand from competing against neighbouring countries which have more attractive ease of entry requirements, which has in turn drained potential foreign income from THailand’s coffers and in turn allowed other countries to gain economic boosts from building tourist numbers
Dr Taweesilp said the next full-member meeting of the CCSA after Songkran would decide the date when more restrictions could be lifted. The date for the next meeting is yet to be announced.