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Thailand To Start Treating Covid Like The Flu From October

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In a new development even the most optimistic didn’t see coming, Thailand will outpace the vast majority of Asia, and even the Western Hemisphere, in treating Covid as an endemic disease. From October, the once ultra-strict country will downgrade the pathogen to the same category as the flu virus, effectively treating both the same.

Tourists Looking Happy As They Explore Thailand, South East Asia

After more than two years of enforcing strict regulations aimed at curbing the viral spread, Thailand has progressively eased its stance this year, dropping the highly controversial Thailand Pass, which was seen as a barrier for most foreign visitors, and rescinding all mask requirements. Now, it will be taking yet another huge step in reinstating normality.

Here is everything you need to know about Thailand’s reclassifying of Covid and what it means for tourists:

Thailand Close To Fully Reinstating Normality

Young Female Tourist In Thailand, Southeast Asia

Unlike other popular tourist hotspots, like Germany and Cyprus, that have recently made a U-turn and tightened pandemic rules once more, Thailand is pursuing a different path irrespective of the rise of new Omicron sub-variants. You may be wondering why, seeing that it stood among some of the most conservative Asian states not that long ago.

In sum, the Ministry of Public Health, responsible for the anti-Covid response, has finally conceded the situation has begun to ‘stabilize’, and the virus, albeit still ‘dangerous’, no longer justifies a state of emergency. Interestingly, cases in Thailand have remained stable while other neighboring countries have seen new spikes.

Thai Locals Wearing Masks Against Covid In Phuket, Thailand

According to data shared by Worldometers, the moving average of new reported cases is 2,190 for the 7-day period ending on, and preceding August 11 – roughly the same as a month ago on July 11, when the rolling average was 2,134. There has been a slight increase, yes, but this has not strained the local health sector, nor led to a surge in deaths.

For that reason, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, a central figure in Thailand politics during the pandemic years, has confirmed Covid will join other viruses such as influenza, perpetrator of the flu, and dengue, responsible for dengue fever, on a list of communicable diseases that simply need ‘monitoring’.

Young Female Traveler With A Backpack And A Hat Exploring The Streets Of Bangkok, Thailand

Visiting Thailand Is The Easiest It’s Been Since 2020

This will happen as soon as October, and will ‘reflect the reality‘ of the pandemic in Thailand, according ot Charnvirakul himself. Previously, Thailand had resorted to numerous lockdowns and social curbs to keep the virus under control, going as far as barring entry of foreigners into numerous destinations in an attempt to keep new variants out.

View Of The City Of Bangkok In Thailand, Southeast Asia

Up until recently, tourists had also been subject to strict vaccine, testing, and isolation mandates, as well as Thailand’s infamously confusing quarantine entry schemes. While it has yet to mimic the likes of Mexico, or even its fellow Asian partner Vietnam, in fully scrapping entry requirements, visiting Thailand is now the easiest it’s been since 2020.

Essentially, foreigners must provide one of the following documents to be granted quarantine-free entry:

  • An active vaccination certificate, or
  • A negative Covid test (RT-PCR or Lateral Flow) within 72 hours of boarding their flight
Maya Bay In Thailand, Southeast Asia

Is Covid Finally Taking A Back Seat?

By effectively declaring the disease as endemic, as it previously indicated it would, Thailand is re-asserting itself as a friendly tourist destination, and completely shifting their Covid strategy. Not our words, the Health Minister’s: he believes it is now up to the public to look after their own health, instead of being closely guarded by the national government.

Young Female Tourists Exploring The Wat Phra Keaw Grand Palace In Thailand, South East Asia

In his statement, the Minister lists the ‘readiness’ of Thailand’s healthcare system, as well as access to treatment, as reasons why Covid is no longer as disruptive as it once was. Prior to this update, the virus had shared the same status as the plague and smallpox, two other conditions that indeed threaten lives and the functioning of society.

As a matter of fact, monkeypox, an entity closely related to the latter, has been doing the rounds lately and prompted numerous destinations, and even the World Health Organization, to sound the alarm. As new, more pressing issues face travelers, including new health concerns, Covid seems to be finally taking a back seat.

In Thailand, this will be official beginning this fall.

Read More:

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This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest breaking news that will affect your next trip, please visit: Traveloffpath.com

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


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Tom

Saturday 17th of September 2022

Let's hope they scrap the testing or vaccine mandate come October 1, but so far there has been no confirmation on this. Unofficially, its been scrapped for land based entry already but is still needed to board a flight into the country.

zen

Friday 2nd of September 2022

The article is unclear, because it does not confirm whether the need to show a vax certificate or proof of negative test will be scrapped or not. If not, then essentially nothing has changed regarding entry to Thailand.

Dave

Tuesday 16th of August 2022

So what are they doing in October - continuing to ask for vax certificates or swab tests for the strong and healthy unvaccinated?

No clot shot thanks

Monday 15th of August 2022

Never have and not gonna perform scam tests, I just dont like to be scammed. Will take my money to Vietnam and enjoy myself:)

billy

Monday 15th of August 2022

the mass hysteria dying down after all the "fact checkers" became silent. Must be election season worldwide. Politicians and there overreach are getting exposed.