Thailand plans wider reopening of tourism in July


BANGKOK, June 20 (Bern): Thailand plans to reopen more widely to vaccinated visitors, without the need to undergo a mandatory quarantine, to its main tourist destinations from July 1, with the aim of relaunching its tourism industry hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

To curb the Covid-19 epidemic, Thailand last year imposed strict entry conditions and quarantine measures where travel restrictions saw tourist arrivals in the kingdom drop to 6.7 million l last year compared to nearly 40 million visitors in 2019.

From July 1, Thailand’s popular resort island, Phuket is set to reopen to fully vaccinated visitors under “Phuket Sandbox” while the famous tourist islands Koh Samui, Koh Phang Nga and Koh Tao under “Samui Plus” should welcome vaccinated tourists from July 15.

In a statement, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said the “island approach” will continue in August with an “expansion” of the concept where travelers to Phuket will be linked to “Krabi Even More Amazing”, which includes Koh Phi Phi, Koh Ngai and Koh Railay or “Phang Nan Prompt” (connecting Khao Lak and Koh Yao).

From September, TAT said the “Sealed Approach” would be launched for specific areas and routes under “Charming Chiang Mai” (Mueang, Mae Rim, Mae Tang and Doi Tao districts), Chon Buri: Neo Pattaya (Pattaya City and Bang Lamung and Sattahip districts) and Buri Ram (Mueang district and Chang Arena).

Starting in October or during the fourth quarter, TAT said Bangkok, Cha-Am and Hua Hin, along with all other ready-made Thai destinations, would be reopened to foreign tourists vaccinated without quarantine.

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said TAT has been tasked by the Tourism and Sports Ministry to adjust its strategy to reopen pilot destinations as part of the “insular and sealed approach” during the third quarter, leading to the reopening of more destinations from October.

“For Buri Ram in particular, 70% of the local population must be vaccinated for MotoGP Thailand 2021 at the Chang International Circuit from October 8-10,” he said.

The plan to reopen these tourist destinations comes with conditions under which these provinces have vaccinated 70% of their population and the infection rate does not exceed 20 to 30 cases per day.

On June 16, Prime Minister Prayuth ChanO-Cha announced that Thailand would reopen to fully vaccinated visitors within the next 120 days or by mid-October to revive its economy severely affected by Covid-19.

Thailand plans to vaccinate 50 million people with at least their first vaccines given by early October.

In the past 24 hours, Thailand has recorded 3,667 new cases of Covid-19 and 32 deaths, so far bringing the total number of infections in the kingdoms to 214, 449 and 1,609 deaths.

Among the new cases, the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said 3,635 were local transmissions and 32 imported cases.

The deaths involved 17 women and 15 men aged 40 to 89, including 19 in Bangkok, three each in Nakhon Pathom and Samut Prakan, two each in Phetchaburi and Khon Kaen, and one each in Samut Sakhon, Chon Buri and Chachoengsao. – Bernama


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