Thailand offers COVID vaccine certificate for ASEAN travel

BANGKOK: Thailand has offered a regional COVID-19 vaccination certificate as a way to facilitate travel between ASEAN countries.

Travelers collect their luggage at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province on May 1. Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul and Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob attended the Changi Aviation Summit 2022 in Singapore yesterday (May 17) along with leaders from ASEAN member countries and representatives of organizations international aeronautics, reports the Bangkok Post.

During a panel discussion on “Clearer and greener skies,” Anutin proposed that ASEAN member countries adopt a standardized COVID-19 vaccine certificate. He said he believed that if adopted widely enough, it would help efforts to rejuvenate the aviation sector.

In addition to the vaccine certificate, he also said Thailand would support renewable energy policies that align with both the Organization’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Program for International Aviation (Corsia). International Civil Aviation (ICAO) and the Paris Agreement.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob told reporters that the Changi Aviation Summit was concerned with guiding the recovery of the aviation sector from COVID-19 and hopefully moving towards the sustainable development of the sector to align with ICAO standards.

Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged Asia-Pacific states to ease restrictions on air travel.

“Asia-Pacific is catching up on restarting travel post COVID-19, but there is growing momentum with governments lifting many travel restrictions. The demand for people to travel is clear. As soon as the measures are relaxed, there is an immediate positive reaction from travellers,” said IATA Director General Willie Walsh in his keynote speech at the summit.

Demand for flights in March rose to 17% of pre-COVID levels after hovering below 10% for most of the past two years.

“This is well below the global trend where markets have recovered 60% of pre-crisis levels. The lag is due to government restrictions. travel and tourism in the region, and all the economic benefits that will flow from it,” said Mr. Walsh.

He urged Asia-Pacific governments to recognize that tough measures are no longer needed.

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