Quarantine on a yacht! Thailand to let holidaymakers spend their two week isolation period cruising near Phuket at sea to revive the country’s beleaguered tourist trade
- Thailand’s quarantine initiative will see tourists spend two weeks on a yacht
- The move is aimed at boosting the country’s international tourism industry
- A trial run of the initiative has required tourists to wear tracking wristbands
Thailand will allow holidaymakers to spend their quarantine period onboard a yacht in Phuket.
The move is aimed at boosting the country’s tourism industry, after the number of tourists arriving in the country fell to just hundreds a day compared to pre-pandemic levels of 40,000-50,000.
The yacht quarantine programme will see participants who have already received a negative Covid-19 test spend two weeks on board a vessel.
The government hopes it could help generate £42million (1.8billion baht/$58million) in yacht tourism revenue.
Thailand will allow holidaymakers to spend their two-week quarantine period on a yacht in Phuket (file image)
A trial run of the initiative has required tourists to wear wristbands that allow the wearer’s location to be tracked by GPS, according to a report on the BBC.
The wristband also monitors the person’s blood pressure and temperature.
The South East Asian nation closed its borders to international travellers a year ago but has gradually been reopening since October.
Some 40 million tourists had been expected to arrive in 2020, but as international travel ground to a trickle, their absence hammered the country’s services sector, bruising entertainment, retail, hotels and restaurants.
Health Minister Anuthin Charnvirakul announced on Monday that authorities had agreed to reduce the quarantine period for three types of travellers to Thailand.
‘For non-Thais who are vaccinated… the quarantine time reduces from 14 days to seven days,’ he told reporters.
Travellers must have received a full course of a coronavirus vaccine at least two weeks before touching down and the inoculation must not be older than three months.
Thailand closed its boarders to international travellers last March but has gradually been reopening since October (file image)
He said Thai citizens who are vaccinated abroad would also only spend a week in hotel quarantine.
Non-vaccinated people will have to spend 10 days in quarantine, down from 14.
However, anyone travelling from Africa must complete a full two weeks of quarantine, Anuthin said, because of concerns about whether vaccines offer protection against the South African variant of coronavirus.
The health minister flagged that the government would consider scrapping hotel quarantine requirements altogether in October, once there was a high level of herd immunity in Thailand.
The kingdom started its vaccination rollout late last month and Anuthin was the first citizen to receive a Chinese Sinovac jab.
Thailand has registered more than 26,400 coronavirus cases, with a jump of about 22,000 infections since late last year, after a second wave that stemmed from the country’s largest seafood market.
According to the UK government roadmap, set out last month, the earliest date that English tourists will be able to visit Thailand is May 17.
Essential overseas travel is still permitted for a range of business, education and compassionate reasons.
However, people travelling internationally from England now need to complete and carry a Declaration to Travel document downloaded from the government’s website.
The three-page form asks the traveller to set out their reason for needing to go abroad.
Those who fail to produce one of these completed forms during spot checks by police could be barred from their flight and face a fine of up to £200.
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