6 June 2024

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said that Thailand must proceed cautiously before scrapping the “Thailand Pass” scheme, as is being demanded by the private sector, to make sure that there will not be a new outbreak of COVID-19 once all pandemic-related travel restrictions are removed.

To scrap the “Thailand Pass” scheme, Anutin said that the government must take into consideration the global COVID-19 situation and vaccination requirements.

He noted that two vaccine shots may not be sufficient and a booster jab may be required for overseas arrivals, as well as COVID-19 insurance coverage to ensure that tourists can pay for any treatment should they become infected, without placing an additional financial burden on the state.

Speaking to reporters at a MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) event yesterday (Tuesday), he said that the CCSA’s decision to scrap the “Test and Go” program, effective from May 1st, is an important step forward and he does not want to see the country regress, hence, the necessity to proceed step by step, instead of rushing ahead.

For now, he said the government will do everything possible to restore normality to the country and will choose the right time to move to the next step in the reopening of the country.

Approximately 346,000 international arrivals were recorded between April 1st – 26th, as opposed to just over 273,000 in March.

Although daily infections have been somewhat on a decline and not as high as feared post-Songkran holidays in mid-May, daily death toll remains high, with 125 new deaths recorded today (Wednesday).