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Thailand’s 4-phase reopening, starting today



Flickr Jernej Furman - Vaccine Passports will allow travelers to enter Thailand and avoid long quarantines.

This is not an April fool’s joke. Thailand has set a tentative 4-phase plan starting April 1 for reopening the borders, lifting restrictions, and relaxing quarantine periods, allowing international travel to recommence in a safe manner. As always, this a currently a PLAN and has not been confirmed by the Thai government at this stage.

The planned rollout has a metered approach and aims to allow tourism to rebuild without opening the floodgates to a potential new wave of Covid-19 clusters. The PM’s spokesman outlined the 4 phases, starting today, and completing the transition at the start of next year.

The first phase of Thailand’s reopening scheme, will begin the gradual reduction of the quarantine period for foreign travellers who have already received a Covid-19 vaccination and can present a vaccine certificate. For those who qualify and travel to one of the earmarked tourist destinations of Phuket, Krabi, Pattaya, Chiang Mai or Phang Nga, the mandatory 14 day quarantine length will be reduced.

Tentatively scheduled for July 1, the second phase of the plan focuses on Phuket’s massive tourism market, as chartered flights from China are expected to begin arriving in July (despite the Chinese government’s current restrictions on external travel). International travellers arriving to Phuket after this date will no longer need to quarantine at all, according to the proposal, provided they carry paperwork certifying their vaccination. 

The next step in reopening Thailand would see the 4 other tourist destinations in the ‘sandbox’ scheme to join Phuket in waiving all quarantine restrictions. Phase 3 is planned to launch October 1, and would allow vaccinated foreign tourists to holiday in Phuket, Krabi, Pattaya, Chiang Mai or Phang Nga without any quarantine. Bangkok has also been discussed as part of this proposal.

The final fourth phase would start on New Year’s Day, 2022, and would be the final step to reopening Thailand’s borders. After January 1, all foreign travellers that have received a Covid-19 vaccination and a vaccine passport will be allowed to enter anywhere in the kingdom without any quarantine period. 

Barring any new outbreaks or negative developments in the pandemic, hopefully Thailand will be safely reopened to the world by the new year. 

These are just proposals at this stage and you should check with the embassy in your country before making any flight or hotel bookings.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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