The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration next week will vote on scrapping the Thailand Pass tourist-entry system, including the requirement that international travelers obtain health insurance.
Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn said Wednesday said both the QR-code registration system and the insurance mandate are costly and inconvenient for travelers and put off people from coming to Thailand.
The ministry will submit its proposal to the CCSA for consideration at its June 17 meeting. If approved, Thailand Pass would end on June 30.
Meanwhile, the ministry has delayed the start of a 300-baht tourist tax, which now won’t be implemented until the fourth quarter at the earliest.
Final Cabinet approval of the controversial fee was slated for last week, but the ministry withdrew the proposal due to, Pipat claimed, uncertainty of how or when to slap the tax on people entering Thailand by land.
Land-border crossers typically stay in Thailand less than two days, so the 300-baht fee would be excessive, Pipat reasoned. He had no such qualms about adding another fee to the expenses of air travelers.
The ministry will revise the fee regulation and submit it to the Cabinet in two months, with fee collection to begin 90 days after that. It could be 2023 before it takes effect, Pipat said.