People were elated to hear that Thailand was launching a select reopening on November 1, but confusion exists over the Thai government’s statement that they would open 17 provinces to 10 low-risk countries, with the list of provinces and countries as yet unspecified just 2 weeks before the launch date. Then again, that’s been the way throughout the pandemic as the Thai government has wrestled with the many changes and deadlines.
Government officials had suggested 5 countries on the shortlist and a handful of provinces that would be amongst those reopening, but now a list is being reported in Thai media of 38 possible countries deemed to have low Covid-19 risk, though some are observing the list is based more on Thai economics than science and data.
The 5 previously named countries were the US, the UK, Germany, China, and Singapore, countries that historically brought a lot of tourism. Notably, US neighbours Canada and Germany neighbours Austria, for example, both with lower Covid-19 rates and higher vaccination rates than their neighbours but did not make the ‘safe’ list.
The list of 38 countries brings its own fuzzy maths and geography as the list was broken into categories of “EU countries” and “Nordic countries”, without acknowledging the significant overlap of these 2 categories.
The new rumoured list includes 24 unnamed countries in the European Union, plus 5 Nordic countries… Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Of the 5 Nordic countries, 3 of them – Denmark, Finland and Sweden – area also EU members, while Iceland and Norway are members of the related European Economic Area.
It is unclear if the 3 countries are included in the 24 EU countries, though if they are not, then this rumoured list would include every EU country as there are a total of 27 nations in the European Union.
The other 9 named countries under consideration for entry on November 1 are India, Israel, Japan, Qatar, South Korea, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, UK and the US. (Oddly, both China and Singapore that were previously named did not appear on this list.)
Thai news media suggested the list came after a CCSA meeting but did not confirm a source, and it is important to note this list is only a consideration with no countries yet being formally named as included in the reopening.
SOURCE: Daily News
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