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  • #76
    Thai health officials skeptical about vaccine passports

    Thai health officials are not convinced about the “vaccine passport” idea, which would allow travellers, who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter Thailand without the need to endure 14-days of quarantine.

    The Director-General of the Disease Control Department, Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong announced yesterday that the vaccine passport is only a suggestion, because the World Health Organisation has suggested that there is not enough evidence to show that the COVID-19 vaccine will fully protect people from getting infected.

    Dr. Opas believes, however, that, in the future, vaccine passports will be used by travellers to prevent the spread of the virus, similar to a yellow fever vaccination certificate, which is used by travellers from Africa and South America to prove that they have been vaccinated against the disease.

    He also stated that the WHO will have to develop the rules as to when and how the vaccine passports can be used, in order to make them an international requirement, in accordance with International Health Regulations 2005.

    Although many countries have started inoculation of their populations against COVID-19, he said that no country has adopted the passport idea yet. Therefore, the 14-day quarantine is the most appropriate measure for the time being.

    Many tourism-related bodies, such as the Tourism Authority of Thailand, suggested the idea of vaccine passports as a way of attracting foreign tourists back into Thailand and of boosting the ailing economy.:

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


    • #77
      Lacking vaccination plan, TAT sees Q3 return for foreigners

      The plan to welcome back international tourists in the third quarter is on track even though there is no timetable for vaccination of locals, says the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

      TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said it is important for the tourism industry to start the first batch of vaccine distribution to gain tourists' confidence.

      If tourism workers are part of the second batch to be vaccinated, following medical staff on the frontline, provincial administrations and companies may not have to purchase vaccine supplies themselves to kick-start the tourism industry, said Mr Yuthasak.

      The TAT expects to discuss a vaccine distribution plan with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration for the next phase.

      He said the private sector buying additional vaccines could accelerate the pace of inoculation, but there is a vaccine shortage around the world at the moment.

      Available doses may also be too expensive for provincial administrations to obtain, said Mr Yuthasak. Any provinces considering this option must remember they are using state budget, he said.

      On Wednesday tourism operators in Phuket submitted a petition to the prime minister asking the government to dismiss the prohibition against local administrations and companies procuring Covid-19 vaccines.

      The province wants to allocate provincial budget to inoculate its residents, in preparation to open for inbound tourists as part of a campaign slated for Oct 1.

      "We aren't concerned about the pace of mass vaccination and will continue the reopening campaign during summer vacation in July as planned," Mr Yuthasak said.

      Tourists will seek low-risk countries and Thailand is still a popular choice, he said.

      There are other conditions to consider, including uncertainty over a vaccine passport framework and quarantine policy for vaccinated tourists, said Mr Yuthasak.

      Tourism operators are awaiting clarity on reopening, which is the only way to recover from the slump, said Chamnan Srisawat, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand. He said no vaccinated tourists will come to the country unless locals are also vaccinated.

      "Tourism will not fully recover without vaccinations that can ensure health and safety. It's more important than any tourism stimulus plan," Mr Chamnan said. "The government must include the private sector in discussions about a vaccine distribution plan.":

      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


      • #78
        Those muppets really don't have a clue how to move forward.
        Originally posted by Fluke;n188618
        Why does the time state 02 38 PM , when no such time exists ?
        It should be either 14 38 PM or 02.38 AM
        Originally posted by Ergenburgensmurgen;n186588
        What are you talking about, I don't post on Teakdoor.


        • #79
          Thailand's top resort island is hatching a plan to bring back vaccinated tourists by October — and it doesn't involve a quarantine on arrival

          The resort island of Phuket in Thailand says it plans to welcome vaccinated tourists by October — and travelers would be able to bypass the country's mandatory two-week quarantine, Randy Thanthong-Knight reported for Bloomberg.

          Thailand reopened to foreign travelers in October with a new special tourist visa program, but tourists are still required to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

          Phuket, one of Thailand's biggest tourism destinations, plans to make it easier for tourists who've gotten their COVID-19 vaccines to vacation on the picturesque island, which is known for its beaches, nightlife, and luxury resorts. The island plans to buy enough vaccine doses to inoculate 70% of its roughly 400,000 residents by September 1 to reach herd immunity in the local population. The undertaking is to be funded by multiple business groups including the Phuket Chamber of Commerce and the Phuket Tourist Association, per the Bloomberg report.

          "We can't wait any longer. If we have to wait, we won't survive," Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, president of the tourist association, told Bloomberg. "If we miss this winter peak season, we'd have to wait another year."

          Still pending government approval

          The plan, called "Phuket First October," still needs to be approved by the government. According to Bloomberg, Phuket is considering buying doses of China's Sinovac Biotech vaccine, which researchers have found to be 50.4% effective.

          Phuket's tourist association did not immediately respond to Insider's request for more details on the plan, including which vaccines it plans to administer to locals and which it will accept from tourists.

          Thailand has said it will start administering its COVID-19 vaccinations on February 14, starting with the AstraZeneca vaccine — which has shown to be 82% effective — but health officials don't expect country-wide herd immunity to be reached until 2022.

          Like other tourism-dependent countries, Thailand's economy has suffered during the coronavirus pandemic.

          In 2019, almost 40 million foreign tourists visited Thailand, bringing in more than $64 billion in revenue — about 11% of the country's GDP, according to Reuters. In 2020, the year international travel all but evaporated, Thailand's tourism revenue was a fraction of that: less than $28 billion, which came mainly from domestic travel, according to the Pattaya Mail. Thailand's borders were closed to tourists from March to October.

          In October, Thailand reopened to foreign travelers in a limited capacity by launching a new tourist visa program that allows visitors to stay in the country for up to nine months. It said it would issue 1,200 such visas — but it had trouble filling even those few spots, as Thanthong-Knight reported last month.

          Travelers were likely deterred by the required 14-day quarantine — which can cost between $1,240 and nearly $10,000 and is paid for by the traveler — even if it could be served in a beachside luxury resort.

          Jessada Srivichian, the financial manager of Hotel Clover in Phuket, told Bloomberg last month that she'd never seen Phuket so quiet in 20 years. "We need international visitors," she said. "We're not thinking of making a profit but instead focusing on minimizing losses, because as long as there's a quarantine requirement, people won't come."

          If Phuket has its way, tourists will be free to roam its sandy shores on quarantine-free, COVID-free holidays in a matter of months.

          Thailand's national tourism authority did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment for this story.

          Thailand's top resort island :

          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


          • #80
            Rich foreign tourists to arrive Sunday, will debut villa quarantine

            Seventy rich foreign tourists travelling in a "bubble" will enter Thailand on Sunday and go into villa quarantine at an upscale resort complex in Phuket, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.

            Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said they would be the first tourists to make use of villa quarantine.

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            They will be staying at Sri Panwa Hotel in Phuket, which advertises itself as a 5 star hotel and resort with private beach.

            "Although the government approved measures for villa quarantine long ago....their arrival will be the debut of villa quarantine," Dr Taweesilp said.

            The hotel management had provided details of its villa quarantine measures for the 70 visitors.

            According to Dr Taweesilp, they are rich nationals of Brazil, Canada, France, Denmark, Ukraine and the United States.

            They have been travelling together in a "bubble", on a chartered aircraft, and have been repeatedly tested for Covid-19 in the countries they visited. They will arrive from Indonesia.

            A Sri Panwa representative presented the personal profiles of the tourists to a sub-committee of CCSA on Wednesday morning.

            For the first five days of their 14-day quarantine the visitors will stay in their rooms. After that, they can leave their rooms and make use of the facilities within the grounds of the hotel, Dr Taweesilp said.

            "If villa quarantine is successfully implemented, meaning there will not be a Covid-19 case, or infection can be effectively controlled, we will be a tourist destination in the new era," the spokesman said.:

            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


            • #81
              Villa quarantine in Thailand could be allowed soon

              The CCSA will consider a new quarantine measure, called “Villa Quarantine”, with a luxury hotel in Phuket being the first to implement it.

              During today’s press briefing, Dr. Taweesin Wissanuyothin said that Sri Panwa, a luxury hotel in Phuket, has proposed “villa quarantine” for 70 foreign tourists travelling from Indonesia.

              The tourists have been swab-tested for COVID-19 up to 6 times and are scheduled to arrive in Phuket on a charter flight on February 21st.

              These tourists will be under state quarantine for the first five days, after that, they may be allowed to quarantine in a hotel villa, where they can enjoy the facilities there.

              This is the first time that such a measure would be introduced.

              The measure must be proposed to and approved by the CCSA sub-committee meeting tomorrow, and then by the main CCSA committee on February 22nd.:

              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


              • #82
                Vaccine passports inject new hope for Thai tourism

                A “vaccine passport” has emerged as the best hope for Thai tourism businesses devastated by COVID-19. The passport, which could exempt inoculated tourists from the mandatory 14-day quarantine, might help the tourism industry slowly get back on its feet.

                What is a vaccine passport?

                In essence, a vaccine passport is documentation – very likely an e-document in this increasingly digitalised world – to prove the holder has already been inoculated against a disease. In the current context, vaccine passports will focus on COVID-19, which has so far infected 110 million people and killed 2.42 million since first emerging in December 2019.

                Global agencies such as the International Air Transport Association are already busy developing vaccine passports or an equivalent.

                The concept is not new. The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, also known as the Yellow Card, has been around for decades. The Yellow Card records vaccination against diseases such as yellow fever and is required for entry to several countries around the world, including Nigeria.

                Is it necessary?

                The answer is an overwhelming “Yes” for Thai businesses such as hotels and airlines, many of which are on the verge of collapsing under the weight of the COVID-19 fallout. Social distancing and travel restrictions have left businesses across several industries teetering on the edge of failure.

                Thailand, where tourism accounted for 16 per cent of gross domestic product in 2019, has been hit hard by the virus.

                In response, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently proposed luring back foreign tourists with new measures – including an offer to waive mandatory 14-day quarantine for those who can produce a vaccine passport.

                Faced with quarantine and other COVID-19 measures, only around 10,000 foreigners visited Thailand between October and December last year. The same period a year earlier saw more than 10 million foreign arrivals.

                But Thai tourism and related industries are now threatened by talk of extending the quarantine period. The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration recently suggested that it may be necessary to impose a 21-day quarantine on passengers arriving from Africa, where a fast-spreading variant of the virus is responsible for most COVID-19 cases.:

                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                • #83
                  Arrival recovery hinges on state managing vaccines

                  Thailand's tourism recovery depends on the government's ability to distribute vaccines widely to create herd immunity, says the government think tank.

                  Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), said the government should formulate a better vaccine distribution plan focused on using human resources to inoculate people working in the tourism industry to build the confidence of foreign visitors.

                  "The recovery of the tourism industry depends on the government's capability to arrange vaccine distribution," he said.

                  "The faster the government distributes vaccines, the better the country's tourism industry recovery as well as Thailand's economic growth."

                  According to Mr Danucha, the government is being urged to prioritise vaccinations at key tourism destinations and manufacturing production bases, in addition to its public health concerns.

                  The agency expects the government to be able to provide vaccinations in the fourth quarter this year, saying this distribution should allow easing of the strict quarantine requirements for foreign visitors.

                  The government may allow tourists to arrive from countries that have effective Covid-19 vaccinations, said Mr Danucha.

                  As of Feb 15, the agency downgraded its forecast for foreign tourist arrivals this year to 3.2 million from 5 million, made on Nov 16 last year.

                  The downgrade stems largely from the second wave of Covid-19 infections in Thailand, the unabated spread in many other countries and uncertainty over vaccine quality.

                  "The new wave of Covid-19 spreading in countries such as Italy, Finland, Brazil, Turkey, Iran and our neighbouring nations like Malaysia and Indonesia will definitely freeze the recovery of Thailand's tourism industry," he said.

                  Mr Danucha said the agency expects new infections in Thailand will reach an apex in February, with the government projected to get infections under control by March.

                  The NESDC also expects developed countries to distribute vaccines to cover at least 50% of their populations in the first half this year, rising to 75% for the whole year.

                  Developing countries are projected to distribute vaccines to cover 50% of their populations this year, and 75% of their populations within the first half of 2022.

                  Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Monday the first Covid-19 vaccine shots in Thailand should be distributed by the end of this month, with the first 200,000 doses of China's Sinovac vaccine scheduled to arrive on Feb 24.

                  China's Sinovac Biotech confirmed that production of 200,000 doses for Thailand are ready for shipment on Feb 20, said Mr Anutin.:

                  Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
                  Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                  • #84
                    Thailand’s first group of tourists arrives in Phuket

                    Thailand’s first group of foreign tourists arrived in Phuket on Sunday after undergoing Covid-19 tests and are now completing their 14-day mandatory quarantine at Sri Panwa Hotel.

                    The 59 tourists from different European countries flew from Indonesia. This is in line with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s resolution last year to allow foreign tourists to return to Thailand, provided they complete their 14-day quarantine in an allocated hotel.

                    Phichet Panapong, deputy Phuket governor, said the group will be monitored and evaluated during the 14-day period and if everything goes well, this will be used as a model to help with the recovery of Thailand’s tourism sector.: -

                    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                    • #85
                      Yeah, Europeans will be lining up to spend their vacation in an allocated, overpriced quarantine facility.
                      Originally posted by Fluke;n188618
                      Why does the time state 02 38 PM , when no such time exists ?
                      It should be either 14 38 PM or 02.38 AM
                      Originally posted by Ergenburgensmurgen;n186588
                      What are you talking about, I don't post on Teakdoor.


                      • #86
                        ^I don’t think I would but some tourists are
                        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                        • #87
                          TAT wants vaccine passport policy

                          Thailand should have a clear-cut plan on a vaccine passport by June if plans to reopen the international market by the fourth quarter are kept, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

                          Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT deputy governor for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas, said the government policy would have a tremendous effect towards international market plans, particularly on the long-haul market, which is progressing rapidly in terms of mass vaccination programmes.

                          The opinions of overseas agents and recent surveys in key markets showed tourists are ready to be inoculated or participate within a vaccine passport policy if this would allow them to travel abroad once again, he said.

                          "TAT plans to bring back international tourists by the fourth quarter but that will depend largely on our policy development too," Mr Siripakorn said.

                          In order to achieve the target, the country should start soft launches in two phases -- marketing campaigns launched before the third quarter, followed by the introduction of an area quarantine policy within the third quarter, he said.

                          The two phases have started to take shape as the first batch of arrivals landed in Phuket and went into "villa quarantine" on Feb 21. This quarantine concept is similar to the area quarantine proposal.

                          He said Qatar Airways requested the relaxation of the 14-day quarantine at beach destinations during the third quarter. The airline is ready to operate international flights to Phuket if Thailand loosens mandatory quarantine by March.

                          But the policy on vaccinated tourists is seen as a more critical condition as the survey TAT conducted among 4,127 British people found that 75% agreed to be inoculated if it became a mandatory requirement among destination countries.

                          However, 41% of them disagreed with inoculation if a quarantine policy remained in place.

                          A similar result showed up in a survey among Finnish people as 99% said vaccines were important in relation to traveling abroad, while 68% indicated they would not take any trips if a country still had a mandatory quarantine policy.

                          "Those surveys clearly told us that the government must accelerate a concrete plan for a vaccine passport by June in order to receive inoculated tourists, or else we could miss a huge opportunity as some countries have already started quarantine-free programme for vaccinated travellers," said Mr Siripakorn.

                          He said many long-haul markets still rate Thailand as the preferred destination, with 62% of the Finnish people surveyed would choose Thailand as their ideal destination in the winter.

                          A group of 20 Finnish tourists who booked inbound trips under the golf quarantine scheme this month postponed their plans due to uncertainties over the quarantine period in the first 3-5 days of arriving.

                          The TAT's London office also introduced the Linger Longer campaign under which 60 packages were sold. Buyers plan to visit the country during the Easter holidays.

                          Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT deputy governor of marketing for Asia and South Pacific, said the short-haul market also purchased holiday packages in advance.

                          TAT's offices in Mumbai and New Delhi reported that there are two groups of 200-300 Indians who want to hold wedding ceremonies in Thailand at beach hotels. Each group is expected to spend at least 10 million baht.

                          Last week, the country welcomed the first group of 41 Koreans into golf quarantine at Artitaya Golf and Resort in Nakhon Nayok.

                          I agree. Every country should OK a vaccine passport policy. And do it NOW:

                          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                          • #88
                            Foreign tourists are now required to download ‘Thailand Plus’ mobile application prior to arrival

                            The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to advise all foreign tourists who have received the Certificate of Entry (COE) documentation to Thailand that they are now required to download the ThailandPlus application prior to arrival to use when traveling around the country.

                            After downloading the ThailandPlus application from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, travelers are required to enable the GPS and accept the privacy policy. After that, a recent (not more than one-month-old) profile photo needs to be uploaded before inputting the COE number and reference ID obtained from the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate-General. Once all data is verified as correct, the system will direct travelers to the ‘QR code’ page where they can begin using ‎the application.

                            Travelers will need to keep the ThailandPlus application on all the time, as they move to different locations around the country. Businesses throughout Thailand prominently display QR codes that are required for check-in and check-out scanning. This includes all types of accommodation, restaurants, shopping centers, and tourism attractions, to mention just a few examples.

                            In the event that travelers are in close contact with any confirmed COVID-19 cases, they will be notified and offered recommendations.

                            All information collected is only used for public health purposes and is monitored in a way that does not infringe on a visitor’s right to privacy.

                            ThailandPlus is the evolution of Thailand’s contract tracing efforts that started last year with the ‘Thai Chana’ and ‘Mor Chana’ applications. All three use GPS and Bluetooth to detect locations visited via a mobile phone combined with QR code scanning that records a traveler’s journey.

                            First announced in November last year, the ThailandPlus application was developed under collaboration between the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Digital Government Development Agency (Public Organisation). ‎ThailandPlus is available for download in both the Apple App Store and Google Play or by visiting


                            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                            • #89
                              Thailand still one of the top choices for post-Covid tourists, surveys show

                              A recent survey conducted jointly by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) office in London and global data and market research giant YouGov shed some light on the future of the tourism sector once the Covid crisis is over.

                              Of the 4,127 respondents, 75 per cent planning to travel abroad said they were willing to be inoculated if required, with the caveat that people above the age of 55 be given preference.

                              Meanwhile, 41 per cent of those planning trips disagreed with mandatory quarantine measures at destination countries, though 52 per cent said they were fine with up to five days in quarantine.

                              Of those planning to travel, 62 per cent are above 50 years of age and are considering countries that have had few Covid-19 cases.

                              Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT’s deputy governor for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas, said based on this survey, at least 9 per cent or up to 6 million people are hoping to travel to Thailand in 2021.

                              Another online survey conducted by TAT’s Stockholm office found that 99 per cent of travellers from the Nordic region are concerned about getting infected after travel arrangements have been confirmed.

                              Of those surveyed, 62 per cent said they wanted to spend this winter in Thailand if there are no restrictions. Their top destinations of choice were Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak, followed by Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan, Koh Tao, Bangkok and Hua Hin.

                              However, 68 per cent of the respondents said they would cancel their plans if the 14-day quarantine is mandatory, while 26 per cent said they would still travel, though 13 per cent said they wanted the quarantine period to be cut to 10 days.

                              Separately, a survey in France conducted by the Online Travel Agents platforms, which includes Opodo, eDreams and Go Voy, found that once success with Covid-19 vaccines was announced, visits to tourism websites rose by 15 per cent.

                              The most searched for destinations were Dubai (49 per cent), Marrakesh (27 per cent) and Bangkok (25 per cent).

                              Of the browsers, 20 per cent checked out cleanliness and safety measures in place at hotels and tourist attractions, 20 per cent checked out tourist destinations, while 18 per cent hunted for last-minute deals.

                              A survey in the Americas conducted by MMGY Myriad found that most American travellers did not cancel their bookings, but instead postponed them for seven months to one year. The survey showed that American travellers focused on certificates issued by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), and most of them were planning to go on solo trips.

                              “Flexibility to reschedule is the top priority for American tourists, followed by safety. These tourists are looking for safety, no quarantine, flexibility and no deposit,” Siripakorn said.

                              The Mega Travel Trends report released by media firm Skift Research showed that the travel industry will only recover in 2023 and will only return to pre-Covid levels by 2025.:

                              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                              • #90
                                Thailand travel without quarantine could be possible soon for vaccinated tourists as country looks to ease restrictions

                                Coming measures could include shortening quarantine for vaccinated arrivals from two weeks to three days, or even waiving it entirely, officials say

                                From next month, five provinces will host ‘hotel area quarantine’ programmes where visitors can move around within hotel grounds and not be confined to rooms
                                Thai authorities are preparing a plan to ease restrictions for travellers vaccinated against the coronavirus, senior officials said on Wednesday, as the country looks to revive a tourism industry battered by travel curbs.

                                Measures for vaccinated visitors would be introduced step-by-step and could include shortening the mandatory quarantine for all arrivals from two weeks to three days for those vaccinated, or waiving it entirely, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn said.

                                “We have to be fast because we want to start welcoming tourists in the third quarter,” he said. The TAT plans to begin selling tour packages after April.

                                The tourism ministry has also requested 100,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine for tourism workers in five provinces: Chon Buri, Krabi, Phang Nga, Chiang Mai and Phuket. The provinces will from next month host “hotel area quarantine” programmes offering 5,000 to 6,000 rooms, where visitors can move around within hotel grounds instead of being confined to their rooms, according to tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.

                                The global vaccine roll-out has given hope to Thailand’s pandemic-hit tourism industry, which makes up about 11 per cent of Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy. In 2019, Thailand received about 40 million foreign tourists, who spent 1.91 trillion baht (US$63.6 billion).

                                That compared to just 6.7 million visitors last year and revenue of 332 billion baht, due largely to Thailand’s tight limits on international commercial flights and visitors. Since October it has allowed a limited number of tourists to return on long visas, including a group from South Korea for a new “golf quarantine” programme.

                                “This year, we expect about 5 million visitors, but next year it should jump because the vaccine will have helped – maybe 15 million,” Phiphat told state television.

                                Arrivals could reach 30 million in 2023 and return to pre-pandemic levels the year after, he said.:

                                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


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