As Thailand will welcome its first batch of tourists at the end of the month, the country is reportedly in talks with China to exempt Chinese tourists from the required 14-day quarantine by 2021.
According to Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the exemption may push through if the limited reopening of Thailand for international tourism will be a success. He added that the current 14-day quarantine will be replaced by coronavirus testing and mobile tracking app.
Chinese tourists accounted for more than a quarter of Thailand’s international tourists and may be the first low-risk country that will sign up for quarantine-free travel. Most Chinese visitors come to Thailand for a week, so being quarantined would not be worth the trip for many.
Based on official data, around 11 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand in 2019 and contributed USD 17 billion to the tourism industry.
Aside from China, Thailand may also establish travel corridors with places such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.
Thailand has struggled to reopen its borders due to concern among the public and fear of second wave of infections. The kingdom managed COVID-19 infection within its borders with more than 3,600 cases recorded at the time of this writing.