The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has reiterated the assurances given by the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) that foreigners in Thailand will be included in the country’s mass vaccination program.
According to Dr. Opas Kankawinpong, Director-General of the MOPH Disease Control Department, the government’s policy is to achieve herd immunity of about 70% of the population – or 50 million people, based on estimates of 67 million Thais and 3 million foreign residents, which includes migrant workers and expatriates.
Nobody is safe until everyone is safe,” Dr. Opas said.
“Vaccines will be provided for anybody living in Thailand, whether they be Thai or foreigners, if they want the vaccine, they can get it. Rest assured that Thailand’s mass vaccination programme will follow the international practices of public health.”
The government plans to obtain 100 million doses by the end of this year, sufficient to vaccinate 50 million people with two doses each. More vaccination centres will be open, in addition to the services provided at public and private hospitals, in time for the country’s mass vaccination rollout, which is scheduled to begin in June.
Thailand ordered 61 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to be locally produced and delivered between June and December. From Sinovac, Thailand received 2.5 million doses between late February and April and will receive 3.5 million more doses this month. From other suppliers, the government plans to obtain 37 million doses to be delivered within this year.
The government expects the nationwide vaccine rollout to complete within four to seven months, or between September and December 2021.
The mass vaccination programme for anybody living in Thailand will allow the country to reopen safety to international tourists.
Phuket will be the first to lift quarantine for vaccinated foreign tourists from July onwards, followed by Krabi, Phang Nga, Surat Thani (Ko Samui), Chon Buri (Pattaya) and Chiang Mai from October.
Meanwhile, tourism officials have formally submitted plans for Hua Hin to re-open to vaccinated tourists to the National Tourism Policy Committee for approval.
The plans, dubbed Hua Hin Recharge, would allow vaccinated foreigners to visit Hua Hin without the need to quarantine in a hotel room from October 1.
The proposals are similar to the so-called ‘Sandbox’ plan in Phuket.
Under the proposals, foreign tourists wishing to travel to Hua Hin will need to show proof they have been vaccinated and will also need to pass a rapid COVID-19 test on arrival.