Tourists disappointed as Thailand imposes sudden new entry requirements

By Hoang Phong   January 8, 2023 | 07:24 pm PT
Tourists disappointed as Thailand imposes sudden new entry requirements
Tourists visit the Grand Palace, one of the top tourist attraction spots in Thailand, January 7, 2023. Photo by Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha
Tourists are upset by the Thai government's sudden announcement that all foreign arrivals need to furnish proof of at least two Covid vaccinations before boarding flights to Thailand.

Airlines are responsible for checking the documents, Bangkok Post quoted the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) as saying.

Unvaccinated travelers need to furnish a medical certificate explaining why they have not received the jabs.

The requirements would remain in effect at least until the end of January but Thai passport holders and passengers transiting through Thailand are exempt from them, CAAT added.

Foreign readers of VnExpress International have expressed frustration over the new policy.

"I already have a ticket for Thailand for next week, but if I didn't have a ticket for Thailand, I'd choose a different destination without such a policy," one commented.

Another one said: "I was planning a trip in February. I don't think I will bother now. I was planning a budget of $10,000 for diving and accommodation in Thailand."

The Phuket Tourist Association said in a letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha that "The new Covid vaccination requirement could affect ongoing attempts to restore the tourist industry," according to Bangkok Post.

Thai officials said the aim is to prevent another possible Covid outbreak as Thailand is a major destination for travelers from many countries including China, which reopened its borders on Sunday.

Southeast Asia's second largest economy removed all Covid restrictions last year, including tests and health insurance requirements.

It managed to receive 11 million foreign visitors during the year, making it among the best performers in Southeast Asia.

It is targeting 25 million foreign visitors this year, including five million from China.

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