Thailand mulls COVID-19 vaccine passports to boost tourism sector hinh anh 1Disinfecting the environment in Bangkok capital of Thailand (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Thailand is considering COVID-19 vaccine passports and quarantine exemption in an effort to boost the ailing tourism sector as inoculation rolled out worldwide, China’s Xinhua News Agency has reported.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the foreign ministry to conduct a study into the vaccine passports. "If we decide to unveil the plan, China will be among the first countries that we're going to negotiate with," Thai Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Preliminary plan will involve issuing certifications for inoculated visitors to Thailand, lifting them from the two-week mandatory quarantines and relaxing some restrictive measures, said Wissanu, adding that equal treatment will be required from other countries for inoculated Thai visitors.

However, he said the Thai government still needs time to go through details and specific measures for implementation.

Thailand welcomed about 40 million foreign visitors in 2019, but only 6.7 million trickled in last year. The Southeast Asia's second-largest economy contracted 6.1 percent year on year last year in its sharpest decline since 1998.

The Bank of Thailand, the country's central bank, has seen tourism sector, which accounts for more than 15 percent of Thailand's economy, as a key to economic recovery./.