Thai Pass registration for entry into Thailand is expected to be cancelled on June 1, the Ministry of Health has agreed in principle
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health Anutin Charnvirakul said that the rules of entry into Thailand for foreign nationals are gradually being relaxed. Beginning May 1, fully vaccinated travellers will only need to take one antigen test during their stay in the kingdom. The 72-hour RT-PCR pre-trip test for international arrivals was also eliminated as of April 1.
According to Anutin, the only remaining requirement for foreign tourists to visit Thailand is to register for the Thai Pass system, and this may be eliminated as of June 1. Instead of filling out multiple documents, tourists will be able to use their TM6 immigration form to declare a vaccine. The minister said the abolition of the Thai Pass will create a more seamless travel experience and encourage even more trips to the country.
The cancellation of the Thai Pass means that Thai embassies and consulates will be able to reduce their workloads as they previously had a lot of work to do on approving the necessary documents. The Covid-19 Situation Management Center must approve the proposal at next month’s meeting in order for the requirement to become null and void.
According to Anutin, travellers may be required to record their vaccinations on a TM6 immigration form when they arrive in Thailand, and immigration officials will be responsible for checking the form or vaccine passport. That said, the government has chosen not to strengthen screening measures with mandatory booster doses because vaccination coverage varies from country to country.
“If infection levels caused by the Omicron variant decrease by June 1, the other travel regulations should be unlocked as the country prepares to declare Covid-19 endemic,” he said. “However, we have to move gradually because not all people supported a full opening of the country, some don’t want the government to rush things. We have to find a balance based on the available information,” Anutin added.
He stressed that the daily number of Covid-19 cases in Thailand has stabilized, and unless new mutations of the virus appear, the number of infections and deaths is expected to drop. He said the number of patients hooked up to ventilators and the use of coronavirus drugs has also now decreased, in line with the government’s efforts to ease restrictions.
“The Songkran festival ended more than 10 days ago, and the number of daily infections has not increased. I appreciate the cooperation of all participants,” he said. Earlier, there had been concerns that the interprovincial movement of people travelling and returning to their home provinces during the New Year festival could have caused a spike in daily infestations if strict precautions were not taken.
Commenting on some provinces seeking to downgrade their pandemic status to endemic, the health minister said these provinces must meet the same standards and requirements. “If one province declares Covid-19 endemic and another neighbouring province does not, everything will be a mess. So they must follow the same standards,” he said.
Dr Suthep Petschmak, Inspector General of the Ministry of Health, previously said that about 15 provinces in Thailand are seeking to be among the first to declare Kovid-19 endemic, but they cannot do so until they are approved by the Ministry of Health. According to the National Committee on Infectious Diseases, endemic status can be granted to provinces with fewer than 10,000 new cases per day and a mortality rate of less than 0.1 per cent.
Dr Suthep said that unless new variants of the coronavirus emerge, he is confident that Kovid-19 will be declared endemic in Thailand by July 1.
Thailand reported 14,887 new cases of the coronavirus and another 125 deaths in the previous 24 hours. Bangkok continued to lead with the most daily cases at 3,292, followed by 687 in Khon Kaen and 610 in Sisaket province.
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