Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that the government will look into the future use of COVID-19 passports.
On Tuesday, the prime minister ordered the Foreign Ministry to conduct a study into the adoption of COVID-19 vaccine passports, potentially the answer to future travel under the so-called “new normal” that is currently being discussed seriously in other countries.
The passport includes a certification that its owner has been vaccinated against the coronavirus disease with registered and recognised COVID-19 vaccines.
He admitted that so far, no conclusion has been reached that would guarantee the COVID-19 vaccine passport system would be effective when implemented at the international level.
“So at this point, I have ordered a study to be conducted around this idea in preparation for a future use of it so that Thailand will be able to keep up with other countries,” he said.
“Opinions about the COVID-19 vaccine passport system still vary, even in Thailand,” the prime minister said.
Countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom as well as those in the European Union are reportedly among those considering a digital passport that would allow citizens to demonstrate they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The COVID-19 passport idea has some critics, especially among physicians and rights groups who question the efficacy of the vaccines and whether or not they will be able to totally protect people against COVID-19.
In Thailand, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) is issuing a COVID-19 vaccination certificate to people who have received the vaccine.
Dr Opas Kankawinpong, director-general of DDC said that the COVID-19 passport should be started under bilateral agreements in order to boost the country’s tourism industry, even though each country still has different policies about COVID-19 vaccination certification.
The national committee on communicable diseases will discuss the COVID-19 vaccination passport on Monday, he said.