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Thailand will remain closed to general tourism until at least the 2nd quarter of 2021 – Minister

Tanutam Thawan



Kiss any resemblance of general tourism to Thailand goodbye, at least until march next year, at the earliest. That’s the outlook for Thailand’s beleaguered tourism industry from the usually optimistic Minster for Sports and Tourism, Pipat Ratchakitprakan.

So, apart from the STV and the modified 60 day Tourist Visa, and a few other options – all involving quarantine and a lot of red-tape for now – there’s not much good news on the horizon for people wishing to get back to Thailand right now. The minister’s outlook wipes out any hope of any tourism resurgence for the 2020/2021 high season.

The Thai Hotel Association and The Thailand Travel Agents Association have been lobbying, even demanding, the Thai government to drop its mandatory quarantine provisions and urgently negotiate travel bubble with provinces in China and other nations that are currently “low risk” for Covid-19, including Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan.

But Pipat says everything is on hold at this stage and that the Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is urging caution in regards to any wholesale easing of restrictions.

“The country will continue with opening to businessmen, technical experts, high level workers and those in the medical field for now. 14 day quarantine will continue for now with many countries still in the grip of the pandemic.”

He also noted that even Chinese officials are advising caution and suggest waiting until the hot season next year (mid year).

There was small outbreaks in 3 cities in China over the past few weeks, less than 10 cases in each city, where Chinese health officials rolled out quick response lockdown teams for the affected communities.

The Minister, indeed the Thai government and the CCSA, appear to be bowing to survey after survey which shows Thai people, around the country, are in favour of keeping the borders closed for now, despite the country’s tourism and hospitality industry being decimated by the government’s policies.


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  1. Avatar


    Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 11:44 am

    I’d be surprised if a general no quarantine reopening happens before summer. The general population won’t start vaccination until early next year and it’s going to take some time once that happens. Could they save Songkran? Maybe but is it worth rushing? Probably not. Traffic will be very light for the first several months, people are weary of long distance travel. Even the Chinese have lowered Thailand on their interest list for that very reason. I just got back from Hawaii and it was different being there while some 20-30% of the tourist business were still closed. Can’t even imagine what Thailand will be like when I return. Still I have friends looking forward to seeing me so I won’t wait too long. Fall should be about right.

  2. Avatar


    Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    Congrats General, you killed Thai tourism forever !
    Now what do you plan to do with millions of unemployed people ?

    • Avatar


      Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 3:38 pm

      those who wil loose jobs will probably be arrested as ” trouble makers” —

  3. Avatar


    Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    It would be great if Thailand came up with a plan to slowly start tourism again in March, but I’m not counting on it, as until now they’ve only been throwing silly ideas into the air and shooting them down again before you can blink with your eyes.

  4. Avatar


    Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    I doubt quarantine restrictions will be removed until 2022 at the earliest.
    Thai clowns to make, manufacture and distribute a vaccine in a year?
    You must be joking.
    Even vaccinated foreigners may not quarantee they will not pass on the disease.
    Safety first will continue for a long time to come.
    The point about what we are all returning to, is also well made.
    I for one won’t be rushing to do many long haul flights per year.

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 3:13 pm

      Dont worry this infamous bunch of military crooks will shortly find a way to try milking us with a VSCRSTV !!!
      (Very Special Covidfree Rich Stupid Tourist Visa)

      • Avatar


        Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 5:56 am

        Generally speaking rich people are not stupid, you don’t get rich by throwing your money about. The super rich who have had the money passed down to them are a very different category though, easy come easy go is their general attitude.

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 4:06 pm

      A friend of mine works close to the rulers of Thailand, she says that a rumor has started to float around in the corridors of the government building, that they will open up the country. And this quite soon. That without any quarantine and the other unsuccessful rules they have tested.

      Then if uncle Tu and his friends like to speak without action, between themselves as they do publicly, is anyone’s guess.

    • Avatar


      Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 6:24 am

      While Peter is vacationing in Mexico or Brazil in the second half of 2021 I’ll be drinking and partying with his girlfriend in Thailand. Nipral, if you’re going with Peter then I will have a three-some.

      The PM has said general tourism will reopen only with a vaccine. That’s 2021 and not 2022 or 2025 or never. Note that all the non-starting ideas to date have come from people working for the PM or from lobbyists and not from the PM himself.

  5. Avatar


    Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    Survey after survey? Since when did the government listen to the people? Before SHUTTING DOWN THE BORDERS? Since then? The WHO rightly is against “any border or trade restrictions” still, as viruses clearly do not respect them, having crossed into nearly 200 countries within 2 months of Covid-19 awareness.

    It is very simple: if you will ONE DAY open the country, you may as well do it now, as viruses like Covid-19 and the common cold will not disappear. Practice what is known to help prevent transmission: herd immunity, masks, distancing, and washing hands. Keeping the borders shut is simply destroying perfectly healthy businesses and creating mass unemployment and the hollowing out of the middle classes.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 1:43 am

      So “herd immunity” is “known to help prevent transmission”?


      Do you have any evidence for that?

      Do any recognised or reliable medical or scientific sources agree with that?

      Just asking …..

      • Avatar


        Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 8:12 pm

        Measles. Look it up. Answer your own questions instead of flooding online forums with your ignorance.

      • Avatar

        Peter N

        Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 6:05 am

        About a month ago Imperial College London released a statement suggesting it did but qualified the statement with the immunity “APPEARS” to be short lived, and it’s “TOO EARLY” to be certain of this yet.

    • Avatar

      Don R

      Friday, December 4, 2020 at 10:32 pm

      On the one hand, I would guess that Asia will be the last region in the world to return to normal for the reason you describe: strict lockdowns have prevented their population from developing immunity

      On the other hand, most East Asian countries likely already have widespread resistance to the virus due to years of exposure, poor sanitation, and stronger immune systems.

  6. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    At last, something definite – better late than never, but it’s unfortunate that the TAT didn’t say this months ago as Vietnam did, as it’s the only sensible solution.

    • Avatar

      Preesy Chepuce

      Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 11:20 pm

      How is that definite? All it is, is a photo of some cleavage, with the first word of the article being “kiss”, and it sounds like the author’s nuts are turning purple from excessive cogitation.
      Why on earth anyone takes the dribblings into newspapers seriously, is a mystery.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 1:50 am

        Well, whether you like it or not and whether you choose to believe it or not, what he’s actually quoted as saying is still “definite”.

        I’m not saying it’ll happen, just that what he’s saying is “definite”.

  7. Avatar


    Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    I am waiting for a position on “Fully Vaccinated” tourists.

  8. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    Yeah March is a Pipe Dream. The level of paranoia is one of the highest on the globe in Thailand. That spells years before normal travel & tourism.

  9. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 11:28 pm

    There not even sure how long the vaccine will protect …. what a mess this rollout will be. Will take years to figure out the ins & outs of several vaccines . Good luck trying to open to normal tourism. Not happening for years unless the government relaxes its draconian regulations.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 1:55 am

      “Not happening for years unless the government relaxes its draconian regulations.”

      Ummm … well … ‘yes’, it would be difficult to relax the regulations without relaxing the regulations.

      God almighty ……

  10. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 12:36 am

    The six trillion THB question (the amount of debts whose repayment has been frozen within Thai banks) is who will chip the 2 trillion brought yearly by the foreign tourists?
    Air Asia Japan has now declared bankruptcy and its Thai subsidiary will probably follow very soon sending thousands of people back home. Bangkok hotels have an occupation rate of around 20% and massive layoffs will start now that it is clear that the next high season (q4-2021) will be the first moment the staff may be necessary!
    If we add that real estate is diving (most major touristic spots have prices 30-50% below last year values) and the credit cards (mirroring the private consumption) have declined 10% plus… there is no bright spot except the electronic exports only contracting 5% to date.
    This is a moment of truth, without flooding the market with subsidies/liquidity, Thailand may see its tourism industry disappearing before the vaccines allow tourists to come back.
    France is now subsidizing up to 250.000 USD month the big hotels/restaurant… closed/suffering because of covid, Thailand should start doing the same.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 10:17 am

      Why should Thailand subsidize just one part of the economy?

      Exports, which make up a far larger part of GDP than foreign tourism, are down by 6% so production has dropped to match.

      Should Thailand also subsidise the factories, to match?

      With what?

  11. Avatar

    Sardar Daga

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    How will Sardaar live like this, his soul is trapped in Thailand waters. If they dont open travel he will die like fish without water

  12. Avatar

    Tori 123

    Friday, December 4, 2020 at 7:37 am

    No sympathy . They had it too good and took advantage

    • Avatar


      Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 4:38 pm

      Yup just correct and they became arrogant and rude. now they see the results- but turists was allready going to Vietnam and Cambodia long before covid. the problem is that thais think they are smart and clever – – in fact it is the opposite. .

  13. Avatar


    Friday, December 4, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    It’s much easier now than few months ago to enter Thailand, the procedure for a TR Visa and CoE is quite straightforward and relatively quick (I did all in 5 days). The costs are still high since the ASQ is still mandatory, but with the vaccines coming on, most probably the tourism will reopen normally in the 2nd quarter of 2021, regardless of what this inexperienced minister may say.

  14. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 12:02 am

    The draconian measures will cause human suffering on an epic scale over several years. The moral corruption is mind numbing on its face. I’ve never seen so much paranoia . It’s sad for such a great country to have to go to its knees in fear.

  15. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 12:13 am

    I agree the tourist sector needs to be subsidized eventually. After the local paranoia subsides and you learn to deal with Covid , you will have to find a way to get the tourists to return. Everything will be on sale .

  16. Avatar


    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    Life or profits?
    Recessions are cyclic. Flatlining is terminal.
    Well done Thailand.
    Keep up the good work until 2022

  17. Avatar


    Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    @Ted –

    Lol, reliable source ya had there, mate.

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