It has just been announced that Thailand is going to implement a yacht quarantine scheme for travelers. The aim is to help mitigate some of the impact that has been had on Thailand's tourism industry this past year, which has been hard hit by the pandemic. Government officials hope that the new initiative will bring in almost $58 million in tourism revenue.
Tourists were banned from March last year from visiting the nation to try and stop the spread of COVID-19. This saw traveler numbers plummet from up to 50,000 a day to just a few hundred. Since October, it has been gradually reopening its borders.
The new scheme announced by the Bangkok government will enable tourists to spend their mandatory two-week quarantine onboard a yacht following a negative COVID-19 test. Foreign travelers also have the option of quarantining on a small cruise ship in Phuket.
The program is already underway, with Thailand already accepting travelers for a trial run. The trial period is expected to see around 100 yachts participating in the quarantine.
During this quarantine, guests on board must wear a wristband. This monitors the wearer's location via GPS, as well as recording their temperature and blood pressure to monitor the person for any signs of infection. The smart wristband has the ability to transmit information even when cruising, if the yacht is located within a 10km radius.
Thailand's tourism minister has also revealed that the country will be implementing further quarantine measures to encourage tourism. This includes allowing travelers to quarantine in popular beach resorts in Phuket and Chiang Mai.
Even better news for vaccinated travelers hoping to venture to Thailand's glimmering shores: the Thai government has reduced the mandatory quarantine period for tourists vaccinated against COVID-19. This means that travelers will only have to be isolated for 7 days — decreased from 14 days. Tourists will need to have had their vaccine within 3 months of traveling to the country.
Tourists who have not been vaccinated, but with coronavirus-free medical certificates, will only have to quarantine for 10 days. All visitors to Thailand will need to provide negative COVID-19 tests with 72 hours of their departure.