Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia and Japan among countries considered for ‘travel bubble’

Thailand’s government is considering several countries that have successfully fought back against the coronavirus pandemic for a ‘travel bubble’ agreement, sources told Thai Enquirer on Thursday.

Among the countries being considered for a travel ban lift are Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia and Japan, said two senior sources inside the Prime Minister’s Office and the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration.

The government has officially denied that any talks have taken place and said it was “too soon” to talk about reopening the country to international travel.

Somsak Roongsita, the National Security Council’s Secretary-General, told reporters that there were still concerns about second wave outbreaks among the countries being considered for a travel bubble agreement and concerns domestically as well.

“[We] will put public health first and other concerns second even though numerous countries have expressed their interest in joining in the travel bubble,” he said.

Anutin Charnvirakul, the Minister of Public Health, said that Thailand had also had talks with Singapore and China but that it was now being reconsidered because China has seen several sporadic outbreaks including one this week in Beijing.

September date proposed

Chula Sukmanop, the director-general of the country’s aviation authority, told Thai Enquirer on Wednesday that international flights could resume in September if the pandemic situation maintains its current course.

International travellers will likely face heavy restrictions even if the country should open.

Analysts say that a mandatory quarantine and tracking applications will be instituted and tourism zones may be set up.

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