Pattaya reopening plan for September 1 unlikely to happen

PHOTO: Hadi Mazumder/Unsplash

Chiang Mai, which recently reported that, due to the Covid-19 situation and slow vaccination, they will delay their planned September reopening to October at the earliest, like many tourism areas that have seen plans to welcome back international tourists dashed by the intensity of the pandemic in Thailand. Now Pattaya has also acknowledged that their plan for reopening on September 1 is not likely to happen.

According to the president of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association, there is a slim chance that Pattaya City will be ready to reopen to international travellers by the original September 1 relaunching date. The local government had been pushing hard to launch their Chon Buri: Neo Pattaya scheme in August, or by the start of September at the latest, as the federal government had recommended earlier.

But, like Chiang Mai, the reopening plan for Pattaya hinged on getting at least 70% of the people living in the province fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before the reopening date. Now with delays and bottlenecks in Thailand’s vaccine rollout, hitting that target in the next week would be impossible.

The PTBA president said that new plans will need to be created for reopening Pattaya, and will need to go through the chain of command before it’s approved. A new timeline would first be submitted to the PTBA who would then pass it on to both the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration for final approval.

Pattaya is behind on its vaccination, like most of Thailand, and has also seen an uptick in Covid-19 infections. Pattaya City Mayor Sonthaya Khunploem reports they have increased active case finding efforts and tested 5,196 people in the last 12 days. 192 of those tested turned out to be infected with Covid-19.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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Neill Fronde

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.