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Tourism Minister defends PM’s re-opening plan on day 3 of no-confidence debate

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr/Oliver Mallich

Thailand’s Tourism Minister has defended the PM’s promise to re-open the country, pointing out that Bangkok and another 4 provinces should be in a position to welcome tourists from next month. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says the re-opening of those 5 provinces will be followed by a further 21 provinces around the country. He was speaking during yesterday’s no-confidence debate against PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and his administration.

Phiphat says his ministry and the Tourism Authority of Thailand are working with provincial officials and communicable disease committees to advance the re-opening plans. According to a Bangkok Post report, he says not all parts of the country are ready to re-open this year and that re-opening will happen under a 3-step plan.

Step 1 is already underway and consists of the re-opening of Phuket, Samui, Phang Nga, and parts of Krabi. Step 2 is planned for October 1, with the re-opening of Bangkok, Chon Buri (Pattaya), Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin), and Chiang Mai. Step 3 on October 15 will see another 21 provinces re-open.

The Bangkok Post reports that from January 2022, the government plans to launch travel bubbles between a number of border provinces and Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Malaysia. According to Phiphat, all re-opening plans will require 70% of the local population to be vaccinated.

“The government is insisting on its plan to open these areas. In practical terms, these areas should have a 70% vaccination rate and receive mutual approval from local administrations and local health authorities before re-opening.”

The Tourism Minister says he’s confident the Covid-19 situation will improve from next month, with 13 million vaccine doses arriving this month, a further 24 million arriving next month, and 23 million doses arriving in both November and December.

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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