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Thailand ends mandatory quarantine for vaccinated visitors

BANGKOK (AP) — Visitors to Thailand who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus will no longer need to undergo testing or quarantine upon arrival from May 1, a measure authorities hope will help rejuvenate the the country’s lucrative tourism industry.

“Many countries have already eased their restrictions,” Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said. “We are a country that depends on the tourism industry, especially in these times. This will help move the economy forward. »

Under new rules announced by the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration, unvaccinated travelers will still need to provide proof of negative results from an RT-PCR test taken no later than 72 hours before arrival.

All visitors must still register with an online “Thailand Pass” system and provide proof of health insurance with coverage of at least $10,000 for COVID-19 treatment.

Under the current arrival program known as “Test and Go”, even fully vaccinated travelers have been required to take RT-PCR tests upon arrival and then stay in a government-approved hotel for overnight until results are known. On the fifth day of their stay. a self-administered rapid antigen test was required.

The Ministry of Public Health on Friday announced 21,808 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 128 related deaths, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic in 2020 to 4,128,038 cases and 27,520 deaths.

The official figures are based on RT-PCR testing, and the new cases do not include 20,635 positive antigen test results, which would almost double the number of new cases to 42,443. Many other positive antigen test results auto -administered may not have been reported to the authorities.

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