Chiang Rai business and tourism sectors weigh reopening Myanmar border bridge

Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge | Photo via Wikimedia Commons

A Chiang Rai commerce official hosted a meeting yesterday for business and tourism sectors to discuss reopening the Mae Sai district’s border crossing with Myanmar. The first Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge connecting the two countries there has been closed ever since Covid-19 hit Thailand in 2020.

Since then, Mae Sai has lost a hundred billion baht per year, according to Pakaimas Vierra, the vice president of the Mae Sai Chamber of Commerce, who hosted the meeting. Mae Sae used to be the most thriving economic district of Chiang Rai, but completely deteriorated following the border closure. Many shops had to close businesses without further notice. Some hotels were put up for sale.

At the meeting, public and private sectors both proposed steps to prepare to open the crossing to pedestrians again. They proposed a forming a sub-committee that would assess the impact of the reopening, and set safety measures to prevent Covid-19 from spreading.

The meeting attendees proposed measures that they will further discuss before bringing them to the Ministry of Interior. These measures include allowing 2,000 pedestrians per day to cross the border, and requiring visitors to have vaccine certificates. Visitors would also have to take a self-administered ATK test before entering Thailand. The attendees will discuss the proposals more thorougly and consider them again on Monday, April 25.

Thailand’s land border with Malaysia opened earlier this month. Now fully-vaccinated travellers can freely cross the land boarder on the southern end of the Malay peninsula with only a valid passport and proof of vaccination.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

World News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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