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Thai Govt’s readiness to cope with more arrivals from China questioned

Written by Thailand News

A Pheu Thai MP is questioning the Thai Government’s readiness to cope with the expected increase in tourist arrivals from China, estimated to reach about five million this year, following the Chinese Government’s easing of travel restrictions on its citizens on January 8th.

Jakkaphon Tangsutthitham, a Chiang Mai MP and deputy secretary-general of the party, said today (Thursday) that, so far, the Thai Government has not announced clear measures to cope with the arrivals and the prospect of increased COVID-19 infections in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in China.

He pointed out that Thai tourism and tourism-related businesses in Thailand have been hit hard by the pandemic in the past three years and, if there are no precautionary measures to deal with the risk of another rise in infections following increased arrivals from China, it may not be worth Thailand reopening the country to arrivals from China.

Jakkaphon said, however, that the return of Chinese tourists to Thailand will help boost tourism-related businesses in particular and the Thai economy in general, adding that safety measures must also be enhanced to prevent another round of widespread infections.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul is scheduled to chair a meeting today with senior health officials to discuss preparatory measures to cope with arrivals from China, as proposed by a technical sub-committee of the National Communicable Disease Committee.

The technical panel proposed that Chinese tourists be treated like those from any other country and there should be no discrimination. Tourists arriving from China will, however, be required to produce their vaccination certification and are advised to take out health insurance coverage before their departure for Thailand.

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