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Tourism ministry wants Thailand fully re-opened, without quarantine, by January

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: YogeShuchi/Pixahive

Thailand’s Tourism Minister wants the country to re-open fully, without quarantine, by January, but says this will depend on vaccination efforts. According to a Bangkok Post report, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn is citing herd immunity as a condition for the re-opening, pointing out that Bangkok’s re-opening has been delayed from October to November, as most residents are still waiting for their second vaccine dose.

However, Phiphat says the re-opening of Chiang Mai, Chon Buri (Pattaya), and Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin) can go ahead on October 1. The central province of Phetchaburi is also set to re-open on the same date, but Phiphat says officials need to accelerate the development of standard operating procedures first.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that from October 15, an additional 25 provinces will be added to the 7+7 extension scheme for tourists who’ve spent 7 days in Phuket, Samui, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi, and Bangkok. However, Phiphat says these provinces will need to have enough of their residents vaccinated first.

“We need to propose that list to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration in order to allocate a proper amount of vaccines for them in time.”

Phiphat adds that, in the event of some parts of the country not achieving the required vaccination level, sealed route schemes could be put in place instead of a full re-opening.

“Only safe areas can re-open to Thai tourists on November 1, while international tourists are expected to enter without quarantine from January, led by travel bubbles with neighbouring countries starting on January 15.”

Phiphat says the fact that Thailand has been added to the “red list” in many countries does present a challenge. However, he’s hopeful that declining infection rates could see the country removed from the high-risk list later this month.

“As Thailand is still recording daily caseloads of more than 10,000 and was downgraded to the red list for some target markets, the number of tourists this year might not exceed 300,000. However, if Thailand can return to the safe list this month, there are promising signs in the last quarter we can hope for 1.2 million travellers.”

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

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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