Thailand tourism ministry wants travel restrictions removed by June 1 if Covid rate drops; daily cases above 21,000 on Tuesday

This file photo taken on October 30, 2021 shows tourists walking on Phra Nang Beach in Krabi. Travellers to Thailand will no longer have to take a Covid-19 test before boarding the plane, under plans announced March 18, 2022, as part of efforts to reboot the kingdom's pandemic-battered tourism sector. - AFP

BANGKOK, March 22 (The Nation Thailand/ANN): Tourism and Sports Ministry will propose removing all travel restrictions on June 1 if the Covid-19 situation improves.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said if the number of Covid-19 cases does not increase over Songkran next month, the ministry will ask the Cabinet and Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to allow foreign arrivals to take ATK tests on the first and the fifth days of their trips from May 1 onwards.

“If the government approves [this move] and the situation improves further, the ministry will propose lifting all travel restrictions on June 1," he said, adding that this means fully vaccinated foreign tourists would be able to enter Thailand freely.

Meanwhile from April 1, travellers entering Thailand under the Test & Go scheme will no longer be required to present a negative RT-PCR test taken in the 72 hours before departure, according to a CCSA announcement on March 18.

However, they must still book a hotel plus RT-PCR test on the first day of arrival and take a rapid antigen test (ATK) on the fifth day.

Phiphat said the timeline for lifting restrictions would facilitate tourists, stimulate the economy and comply with the Public Health Ministry's policy of switching from pandemic to endemic in July.

Thailand's Ministry of Public Health reported on Tuesday (March 22) there are 21,382 new patients who tested positive for Covid-19, 58 of whom have arrived in Thailand from abroad.

Death toll increased by 83, while 24,824 patients were cured and allowed to leave hospitals.

Cumulative cases in the country since January 1, 2022 are at 1,175,357.

The country’s total caseload from Covid-19 stands at 3,398,792 – 3,137,561 of whom have recovered, 236,814 are still in hospitals and 24,417 have died.

Separately, another 31,519 people were given their first Covid-19 shot in the last 24 hours, 10,251 their second shot and 63,479 a booster, bringing the total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered nationwide to 127,488,916.

According to Worldometer, confirmed cases globally had risen to 472.65 million on Tuesday, 408.84 million of whom have recovered, 57.7 million are active cases (61,495 in severe condition) and 6.11 million have died (up by 3,420).

Thailand ranks 34th in the global list of most cases, which is topped by the US with 81.45 million, followed by India with 43.01 million, Brazil with 29.64 million, France with 24.16 million and the UK with 20.32 million. - The Nation Thailand/ANN

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