The full meeting of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) today (26 Nov) is expected to decide whether to extend the emergency decree that is expiring at the end of the month. Other agendas will likely include deliberations on relaxing the current suspension of activities at entertainment venues and adjustments to be made to the process of welcoming international arrivals.
Yesterday’s meeting of the National Communicable Disease Committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul, endorsed the lifting of all quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated international tourists. Under the proposal, tourists will still need to undertake RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 before departure but they will now be screened via the ATK method upon arrival in Thailand. The new entry measures will come into use on December 16, if approved by the CCSA meeting this afternoon.
The committee has also endorsed the waiving of the issuance fee for certificates of immunization for COVID-19, from December 1-31, for people who will travel abroad.
Mr. Anutin said the number of Covid-infected international arrivals in November was roughly 0.1%, which is considered manageable. He explained that accepting international tourists can be managed along with efforts to revive the tourism and service sectors, but the public is asked to strictly adhere to public health measures such as Universal Prevention and Covid-Free Setting so operations and activities may be carried out safely.
Department of Disease Control Director-General Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong said fewer restrictions will now be imposed on international arrivals and more channels of entry will be offered. He added that although lapses have been seen in disease prevention efforts at some establishments, no large outbreaks have been found and the public health system is still capable of handling the situation. (NNT)