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relaxation of sanitary measures in Italy, Thailand and Argentina

Sanitary measures to fight against Covid-19 are gradually being eased around the world. Direction Italy, Thailand and Argentina.

End of the health pass in Italy

In Italy, from May 1, real relaxations are planned. For the mask, there are several scenarios. It is no longer mandatory outside, but it was inside and will eventually remain so in many places. The FFP2 mask at school will be worn until the end of the school year. In public transport, in the metro, buses, trains, planes, it also remains compulsory until June 15. In companies, it will no longer be compulsory but the employer may decide to keep it and in Italy some are in favor of it. In bars and restaurants, for example, employees could still wear the mask when it will be over for customers. No more masks either in museums but the FFP2 will still be compulsory in theaters, cinemas, concert halls and sports halls until mid-June.

We also note the end of the health pass but not yet the end of compulsory vaccination. The health pass will no longer be required at the restaurant in particular, nor to work as was still the case. But the vaccination obligation remains in place for those over 50, for the police, the armed forces, school and university staff until June 15. For health personnel and in retirement homes, this obligation remains in force until December 31. Finally, for tourists in particular, there is no longer any need to fill out a form before arriving in Italy.

Simplification of measures for tourists in Thailand

Thailand received up to 40 million tourists a year before the pandemic. Today, the government is simplifying procedures for tourists entering the country, but it’s not quite a return to normal yet. Quarantine is no longer mandatory. There is no longer a test when entering the country and therefore no more risk of seeing one’s vacation transformed into a long period of isolation in the hospital, separated from one’s loved ones, as happened very recently to hundreds of vacationing families. Thailand now simply requires tourists to attest to a full vaccination protocol and health insurance. However, you must always submit these documents to the Thai authorities before departure in order to obtain the famous Thailand Pass, a kind of health visa that does not say its name. Thai officials promise to reduce the time to obtain this sesame from a few days to 48 hours.

The French, the Europeans will be back soon, that’s for sure. Operators are already noting an increase in bookings to islands and beach destinations for this summer. But some tourists will always be missing, we are of course thinking of Chinese tourists, who were not only the most numerous but the biggest spenders in Thailand. They are prevented from traveling by drastic anti-Covid-19 regulations and a three-week quarantine upon returning to their country. The Chinese are not ready to reappear on Thai beaches. Until they return, the tourism sector will remain far from its pre-pandemic levels. All the more reason for some vacationers to take advantage of the country before the return of mass tourism.

Contaminations decrease in Argentina

In Argentina too, the cases of Covid-19 are falling. The country reached contagion records last year but also that of one of the longest confinements in the world in 2020. Today, after three waves, the situation has calmed down. In recent weeks, cases have been rare and there is no longer so much talk about Covid-19 in the media. Last year at this time intensive care was overwhelmed, today it seems like a bad memory. Argentines experienced three waves that first took place in October 2020, after eight months of confinement. Second wave, last May-June and the third wave took place in January 2022, during the summer holidays. Between the heat, the holidays and the post-pandemic euphoria, we reached peaks of 100,000 cases per day. And a new local variant has appeared, Omicron BA, like Buenos Aires, more quickly transmissible than Omicron and especially present in the Argentine capital. Today, barrier gestures are still respected and even naturalized, but the feeling that Argentines have is that the pandemic is over.

The vaccination rate must also contribute to this feeling of a return to normal. 90% of the population has received at least one vaccine, and 82% has had its three or four regulatory doses. There was not too much resistance to the vaccination campaign. Today, the majority of the population is therefore immune, and the government has reduced controls. Screening tests are now reserved only for people at risk and those over 50. Wearing a mask remains compulsory indoors, because even if the results are encouraging, we must not forget that winter is coming to the southern hemisphere. Specialists are expecting a slight rise in cases of Covid-19 and especially of all the other seasonal viruses which have been strongly contained over the past two years.

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