BANGKOK, 20 June 2022: Public and private sectors join forces to drive tourism and transport sectors toward the transition to the endemic phase.
Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, recently presided over the opening ceremony of the seminar ‘Thailand Moving Together” to listen to the voices of business operators in the tourism and transport sectors as Thailand prepares to transition to the endemic phase of the Covid-19 pandemic and expect to welcome more of international visitors. The main discussions are easing unnecessary measures to drive economic activities, adapting to life with Covid-19 and staying safe.
The event was also attended by Mr. Saksayam Chidchob, Minister of Transport; Mr. Sirapop Duangsotsri, Advisor to the Minister of Tourism and Sports; Dr. Kiattiphum Wongrachit, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Health; Mr. Chayatan Phromsorn Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport; and Mr. Chote Trachu, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
Mr. Anutin said that Thailand’s tourism business has been facing difficulties over the past two years due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry has been working closely with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Ministry of Transport on various measures to balance pandemic control and the country’s reopening to visitors. Today, the situation is improving with the drop in daily infections and fatalities thanks to good collaboration from the public and business operators that continue to follow the pandemic preventive guidance, including lockdown, social distancing, cancellation of events and gatherings, improvement of a ventilation system, vaccination, as well as ATK and RT-PCT tests. The progress allows the Public Health Ministry to plan to ease measures further and facilitate operators in the tourism industry.
He said that the country has started to see a positive sign in the rebound of international visitors since the Test & Go scheme was lifted on 1 May, when fully vaccinated visitors are allowed entry and are free to go anywhere in the kingdom.
“In the transition to the endemic phase, the ministry, therefore, arranged a hearing by inviting representatives from 22 associations related to the tourism, services, restaurants, hotel and hospitality, and transport sectors to voice their opinions, seek solutions for public health measures before proposing to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) in the step. The aim is to boost confidence in economic activities, especially in the tourism and transport sectors, and to encourage the public to adapt to life with Covid-19 and stay safe.”
According to Mr Anutin, representatives from both government and private sectors expressed their intention to drive the country to overcome the crisis based on the people’s safety while stimulating economic and tourism recovery by unlocking unnecessary measures and moving towards the endemic phase.
During the hearing, tourism operators urged the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to inform about related policies before the implementation to prepare and adapt. They also asked the Ministry of Transport and affiliated agencies to facilitate easy and safe travel for tourists and the Public Health Ministry to ease regulations that suit the situation.
Meanwhile, Mr Anutin also emphasised the readiness in the healthcare system in the case of a recurrent pandemic outbreak and called for collaboration from the private sector to keep awareness and follow Covid-19 preventive guidance under the ‘2U’ practice, which includes: Universal Prevention – keep a safe distance, clean your hands, wear a mask in the high-risk area especially a closed area or where physical distancing is not possible, and get the Covid-19 test when there are signs or symptom or when in close contact with someone with Covid-19; and Universal Vaccination – to be immune against the Covid-19.
“The Ministry of Public Health continues to work under the ‘Health for Wealth’ approach covering different dimensions, including promoting the healthcare system as a part to stimulate trade and investment, such as the promotion of medical herbs and medical cannabis products. The ministry aims to develop Thailand as a global hub for health care services that attracts visitors in the Health Tourism segment.” He added, “Healthy people will result in a healthy economy and society.”