China and Japan First to Show Interested In “Travel Bubble” Talks

Bangkok Airport

Several countries including China and Japan have shown an interest in holding “travel bubble” talks with the government of Thailand.

As previously announced, business people and specialists will be given priority in entering the country to help businesses get back up and running quickly.

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said “People should not panic since the government has not yet allowed entry to foreign tourists. Only business people and experts would be allowed in the country initially”.

The Deputy Prime Minister met Japan’s ambassador to Thailand Nashida Kazuya on Friday to discuss travel bubble arrangements.

The two parties discussed a specific period of stay for Japanese tourists. They must present a “fit to fly” certificate both before and after travelling and inform the Thai authorities of their whereabouts in the country during their stay.

They must also regularly report to the companies they have travelled to work for.

The travel bubble is expected to begin next month.

When asked when Thailand would sign a travel bubble pact with Japan, the minister said talks between the two countries would likely take place next week. Results of the Thai-Japan “travel bubble” negotiations will be submitted at a meeting between the Centre for COVID 19 Situation Administration (CCSA) next week by the Department of Disease Control according to Mr Charnvirakul.

On Thursday, Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai had a telephone conversation with Japanese counterpart Motegi Toshimitsu.

In the phone call, they exchanged opinions about the concept of establishing a special framework for the departure and entry of special groups of travellers, primarily for business purposes between the two countries.

Meanwhile, CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin has urged the public to understand that the “travel bubble does not mean the entry of hundreds of thousands of inbound tourists to Thailand”.

The CCSA spokesman said, “People who will be allowed entry are those who will come to Thailand to help drive the economy forward such as business people, skilled workers, technicians repairing machines, medical tourists, international school students and work-permit holders”.

“Over 20,000 people have registered with the government to travel to Thailand. They are not general tourists and will be given priority. If the number is around 20,000-30,000, we will be able to manage.”