Safe Border Opening – An Imperative for Economic Recovery
EABC has investigated, analysed, researched and developed proposals for safe border opening which we see as essential for business continuity and economic recovery and for some, for economic survival.
Community infections are extremely low in Thailand. However, the Kingdom has been risk-averse to the point of forgoing opportunities for economic recovery. Barriers to foreign entry remain due to fear of imported cases, which has been called a ‘zero’ mindset. 14-day quarantine continues, and only ‘semi-commercial’, repatriation and cargo flights are operating. Thailand is suffering from lack of professional, technical personnel and business visits, and a tourism industry in meltdown. The economic and social impact is severe with Thailand’s level forecast to be the worst GDP decline for 2020 in S E Asia. Some other regional economies with low infection have opening in structured and safe ways.
Safe border opening necessitates reducing and eventually phasing out quarantine periods, but in targeted, structured and well-managed ways.
EABC focuses on three groups of visitors with different risk profiles and economic impact:
- Short-stay professionals (technical skills, engineering, arbitration, mediation, etc.), short-stay businesspeople for managing investments, FDI purposes, where no quarantine should be needed.
- Tourism, with an accelerated reduction of quarantine time, from 14 days to none.
- MICE (which could fit into either category).
EABC proposes safe measures for border opening to support short stays, starting with professional, technical and business visitors from low risk economies with rigorous testing, tracing and adherence to group and personal hygiene.
Further details are in EABC’s two page proposal here. A short supporting slide pack is available to illustrate further.