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Bangkok Governor: NO reopening October 15 despite PM plans

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PHOTO: Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang says the city will not reopen. (via Samui Times)
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As any well-informed reader of the news in Thailand knows, Bangkok will definitely be reopening on October 1. Also, it won’t be. It will be pushed back 2 weeks to October 15, the definitive date of Bangkok’s reopening for sure. Or… not. The Governor of Bangkok avowed today that despite the national government’s ever-changing and lofty plans, Bangkok will NOT be reopening on October 15.

Maybe the Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn of 3 days ago is to be believed when he confirmed that the government is sticking to the October 1 re-opening date previously announced by the PM.

Or perhaps you trust more the Tourism Minister Phiphat of 2 days ago who said the capital’s re-opening will be pushed back to October 15, as most residents are still waiting for their second vaccination.

But for those experienced in Thai bureaucracy, it will come as no surprise that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang announced that, despite the Tourism Ministry’s plans, he has no intention of reopening the capital city on October 15 or on any set date until at least 70% of the Bangkok population has been vaccinated.

The governor said that Bangkok will not reopen without any quarantine requirements to fully vaccinated international travellers who test negative for Covid-19 just yet as it’s still not safe to do so. Less than 40% of the city’s population over the age of 18 has been vaccinated and once 70% have received 2 vaccine doses, arrangements would still need to be made with relevant agencies.

He says that infections prevention measures need to be improved significantly before welcoming in international tourism, continuing that a resulting outbreak from the reopening would be disastrous for the city.

Governor Aswin insists that he never confirmed a Bangkok reopening date, and he will base any reopening decision by prioritising the people of Bangkok and their safety. He stated authoritatively that the decision to reopen and the date of reopening will be determined by City Hall.

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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