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UPDATE: ‘Covid’ screening for international arrivals – proposal

Chinese arrive in Thailand
FILE PHOTO: Chinese visitors arrive in Thailand


As Thailand health officials ponder possible precautionary screening for Chinese travellers arriving at Thai airports, the Disease Control Department says that Chinese visitors “will be treated like other foreign visitors” and that they will not be required to undergo PCR tests when they arrive.

“But they must show a vaccination certificate and are advised to take out health insurance coverage before departure to Thailand.”

These are just more of the proposals that will be discussed at a meeting set for Thursday this week.

The meeting anticipates an increase of Chinese arrivals from January 8, after the Chinese Government eased travel restrictions on their citizens.

Professor Emeritus Dr. Somwang Danchaivijitr, chair of the technical sub-committee of the Disease Control Department says that any measures to be adopted… “must be based on the principle of equal treatment, without discrimination against Chinese tourists, but with the emphasis on health, the economy and social security”.

“The measures to be applied to Chinese tourists will be similar to those to be introduced for foreign tourists visiting China, such as the need for PCR tests 48 hours before boarding a plane.”

“Thailand’s authorities must advise tourism-related business operators to make sure that their staff have received at least four doses of vaccine dose, adding that everyone should have least four shots.”

“Health officials will randomly test foreign arrivals.”

The meeting to finalise any precautionary screening or testing will be held on Thursday, January 5.


Proposals have been prepared for Thailand as a preliminary response to the potential arrival of Chinese visitors from early January. A meeting of the Thai Public Health, Sports and Tourism, and Transport ministries on January 5 (next Thursday) will decide if the Thai government will implement the new proposals, or add even more arrival screening procedures.

Dr Chakrarat Pittayawonganon, chief of the Division of Epidemiology, has recommended four screening procedures…

“All international arrivals must have a record of receiving at least two shots of the Covid-19 vaccine.”

“All international travellers arriving in Thailand from China have to have a health insurance package that fully covers Covid-19 treatment.”

“These travellers also will be required to show negative results of an antigen test for Covid-19 that is completed 48 hours before arriving in Thailand”.

“They will also be asked for cooperation in wearing face masks, to practise social distancing and wash their hands frequently with hand sanitiser. ”

Thailand’s Department of Disease Control is also recommending random Covid tests for arriving passengers at major airports.

With China’s borders starting to open from early January, governments around the world are responding to precautionary arrival procedures in reaction to reports of the current wave of Covid-19 in China.

Japan, US, South Korea, Italy, Spain, UK, Malaysia, France and Taiwan have already announced arrival restrictions and documentation for Chinese travellers across their borders. The Australian government has also announced that it is considering imposing some screening precautions.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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