Thai COVID ‘passports’ coming next month for the vaccinated

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul holds a sample of yellow COVID-passport which will be issued for those who have completed inoculation against the coronavirus. Photo: Anutin Charnvirakul / Facebook
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul holds a sample of yellow COVID-passport which will be issued for those who have completed inoculation against the coronavirus. Photo: Anutin Charnvirakul / Facebook

Thailand is putting the cart before the horse with plans to issue travel papers to those vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as next month.

While a global system has yet to be put in place, Disease Control officials approved plans to issue so-called COVID passports that may be accepted by other nations in the future.

Thailand could begin honoring them by cutting isolation time in half to seven days as soon as next month if the plan is approved by the cabinet.

It will cut it to 10 days for people with health certificates indicating a recent negative test.

The vaccine certificates will be given to those who get their second dose of Chinese-made CoronaVac on March 21,  Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said.

They will come in the form of a yellow booklet familiar to anyone who traveled back when yellow fever and vaccine health books were common.

The paper and an electronic version will cost THB50 each at hospitals providing the vaccination.

Anutin said people could use them to travel abroad to participating destinations as no COVID passport system has been standardized by the WHO. The passports will expire after a year.

As millions of people around the world have been vaccinated at this point, health officials agreed to cut quarantine in half for travelers carrying certificates that they are COVID-free and have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks but not over three months.

Travelers from South Africa will not be eligible due to a worrying mutation there and must still isolate for two weeks, according to Anutin.

The health minister said that foreign travelers who have only a COVID-free certificate will get four days off quarantine to 10 days and it will begin as soon as April.

Anutin teased that they may cancel quarantine upon arrival in October if 70% of medical personnel, tourism workers and people with underlying conditions have been inoculated.

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