6,600+ arrive on first day of Thailand’s reopening

"Thailand Pass" screening at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport (October 2021) | Photo courtesy of PR Bangkok

Thailand reopened yesterday with quarantine free international travel for vaccinated visitors, with more than 6,600 travellers entering the country. It’s a major step forward for the country after closing borders at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

Fully vaccinated passengers from 63 countries can now enter without having to go through quarantine, with just a minimal isolation period in their hotel room to wait for Covid-19 test results. The hope is that this ease of restrictions will provide a much needed boost to the tourism sector over the next few months.

Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok welcomed 3,000 passengers from 61 commercial flights yesterday. The airport general manager, Kittipong Kittikachorn, says 2,300 of those passengers were foreign visitors, mostly from Europe. The other 700 were Thais returning from abroad. Other international airports around Thailand welcomed a total of 3,613 people.

While there was a bit of a backup at vaccination screening stations at Suvarnabhumi, Kittipong said that he was pleased with the progress of the reopening. Relevant documents are now being checked and verified using QR codes through the new Thailand Pass system.

The Transport Ministry estimates that 3,260 flights will arrive in Bangkok this month, carrying over 135,000 passengers, a significant increase surpassing the 100,000 total international travelers that visited Bangkok over the past few months. A government spokesperson says 27 airlines will have flown routes in and out of Phuket, Samui, Bangkok and Chiang Mai airports by this Friday. These flights are predicted to carry around 15,230 visitors from 26 countries.

One of the first arrivals back yesterday was a family from Frankfurt, who are pleased to be back in Thailand after over 2 years. Another arrival was a German couple who have come for their honeymoon, and plan to visit Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

When asked, the couple explained that they feel confident that they can travel safely in Thailand, as the screening process for arrivals has been thorough and strict from the beginning. Arrivals also have to pre-arrange travel to their hotel, with only 3 passengers allowed in a van at a time, or just 1 in a taxi.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Luke Albers

Luke Albers is a writer from the United States. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelors degree in political science and a certificate in peace, conflict and security studies. He has lived and worked in Africa and India, and now calls Thailand home. Luke loves to use his writing to connect with new people and places.

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