Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan O’Cha called on fellow ASEAN leaders at an online/teleconferenced summit yesterday, hosted by Vietnam, to begin discussion about re-opening certain limited types of inter regional travel to begin to attempt to recover from the Covid-19 Coronavirus impact on the regional economy.
There was no specific time-frame given around when such a proposal would take place, however, it was a first step to begin deeper discussions as many ASEAN countries have low to no active cases of Covid-19. There are, however, some notable exceptions such as Indonesia.
Prayut specifically mentioned businessmen in regards to the propositions that were made at the ASEAN summit, as well as perhaps other limited groups. It is expected that if such a proposition was to move forward in the future that a travel corridor, even regionally, would carry strict limitations and restrictions and would not be open to everyone to travel across the region as they wished.
Prayut stated that public health measures would need to still take top priority around any such travel channel and would need to be collaborated on between ASEAN member countries.
This was one of multiple proposals made by the Thai Prime Minister. Other proposals include further investment in digital infrastructure and closer economic integration across the region.
Thailand has been discussing travel bubbles for several weeks now at a high government level, however, stated earlier this week that based on the global situation with Covid-19 they would be postponing detailed travel bubble discussion until August. Thailand is set to discuss at a meeting Monday with the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration and other relevant agencies allowing limited numbers of foreigners in with extreme medical precautions. These would not be tourists, but rather businessmen, diplomats, guests of the government and foreigners with dependent Thai families. Discussion on the procedures and processes for this were ongoing as of press time. It is expected that the majority, if not all, would need to go through a self financed quarantine before re-entering the country.
Thailand has not had a single confirmed locally spread case of Covid-19 in just over 30 days as of this morning and announced zero confirmed total cases today in the past 24 hours.