BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health on Wednesday said in its daily press conference that it aims to reduce quarantine for tourists from 14 days to 10 days.
The announcement came after the first batch of tourists arrived from China on Tuesday.
The arrival of the Chinese tourists was Thailand’s first foreign tourists since the closure of the border in March amid COVID-19.
The batch of tourists from Shanghai were tested for COVID-19 before arriving in Bangkok and would undergo the 14-day quarantine under current rules, said Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.
“The ministry’s Department of Disease Control proposed reducing quarantine to 10 days to begin with,” Anutin said.
“I have said that if we are confident, we do not have to be afraid since the goal is finding the safest period for quarantine. If we find a good method, it may be reduced to five, four, three days or even none.”
However, Anutin said that to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 infections, Thailand only wants to invite healthy tourists.
“We cannot let our guard down. We still need to be selective in the choice of tourists. We cannot lift out borders right away and let all tourists in,” said Anutin.
The minister said that quarantine was still effective and had achieved great results over the last five to six months, adding that Thailand still needs to focus on halting the disease at its borders, especially in the northern Tak province bordering Myanmar.
Myanmar is in the midst of a second wave of infections, prompting Thailand to seal its borders with the neighboring country.