No Thai COVID quarantine for Australians

Thailand has removed COVID quarantine requirements for 46 countries in a bid to tempt back tourists.
Camera IconThailand has removed COVID quarantine requirements for 46 countries in a bid to tempt back tourists. Credit: AP

Australia and New Zealand are among 46 nations and territories granted quarantine exemptions for travel as Thailand accelerates plans to reopen to foreign tourists.

The need for mandatory quarantine will be removed from November 1 for fully vaccinated visitors arriving by air from an extensive list of countries and territories, officials announced Friday.

The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration also announced a loosening of local restrictions, including cancellation of a curfew in areas where risks have lessened and tourists can move freely.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced earlier this month Thailand no longer planned to require visitors from at least 10 low-risk nations to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Under the new rules, vaccinated travellers to Thailand from the approved 45 countries plus Hong Kong will be required to show negative test results before flying and upon their arrival.

They will need to spend their first night in a government-approved hotel awaiting their test results.

If the results are negative, the person can travel anywhere in Thailand.

Prayuth, announcing the expanded list of countries with eased quarantine rules late on Thursday on his Facebook page, wrote: "To wait until everything is ready might be too late. Tourists may decide to visit other countries instead."

Thailand shut its borders to most foreign visitors in April last year after local transmission of coronavirus started to climb.

Foreign tourist arrivals in 2019 were almost 40 million, but plunged to 6.7 million in 2020. Tourism is estimated to have accounted for between 12 per cent and 20 per cent of Thailand's GDP before the pandemic.

Visitors from other countries are also allowed to enter Thailand but face additional restrictions.

The new rules coming into effect November 1 include ending a late-night curfew in some areas, including the capital Bangkok.

The consumption of alcohol in public places - including restaurants, bars and nightclubs - remains forbidden, but the government has said the ban will be lifted in December to promote tourism during the New Year holiday season.

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