Thai-Burmese border checkpoints prepare to re-open in Tak province

PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons

In the long road to ‘normal’, Thailand is now reopening many of its land border checkpoints from today. But the Thailand Pass is still in force for Thais or foreigners hoping to cross these borders. Many of the borders are reopening from today. Others this week.

As the Covid-19 situation appears to ease, Thailand is preparing to re-open 2 border checkpoints in the northern province of Tak. According to a Nation Thailand report, cleaning is underway at both checkpoints, with officials hoping to re-open them by Thursday.

One of the booths is at the Mae Sot-Myawaddy checkpoint, located at the foot of the first Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, in the village of Rim Moei. The second is at the foot of the second Friendship Bridge, in the village of Ban Wang Takian Tai.

According to the report, Thai border officials are working with their Burmese counterparts, while waiting for an official response from across the Myawaddy border. Both checkpoints have been closed since March 2020, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s understood that in the 2 year period since, the booths have filled with leaves, tree branches, and bird droppings, with workers saying the clean-up operation took some time as a result.

Business operators nearby have expressed their delight at seeing the checkpoints preparing to re-open, with shop owners saying they hoped the cross-border traffic would help generate revenue. Shop owner Phakakrong Arjimrai says businesses in the area have suffered heavily since the closure of the checkpoints.

“I’m so excited to hear the checkpoint will finally re-open. It’s been very tough for us. I’m glad the government is re-opening the border. I’ve had to shoulder the high rent with no sales at all for 2 years.”

Apart from travellers and tourists, the borders have mostly been busy with cross border trade between border towns.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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