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Due to a slower than expected rollout of immunization, Thailand is considering delay the reopening of many of its major tourist destinations in October.
Reports from Thailand suggest that the Thai government delay the reopening of five provinces since the vaccination rate in each province is always lower than the 70 percent coverage is due to open next month.
The proposed reopening
Thanet Phetsuwan, deputy director of communications and marketing for the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said Thailand may delay reopening the following provinces until November 1:
- Chiang Mai
- Bangkok city
- Prachuap Khiri Khan
Instead, it is likely that Chiang Mai focus on domestic tourism for the moment. Thailand seeks to reopen Chiang Mai to international visitors as quickly as possible.
Nevertheless, the government has already delayed the reopening for a month and it looks like it will extend the “Charming Chaing Mai” diet by one more month until November 1st.
Thanet Phetsuwan said international airlines would be ready to fly direct to Chiang Mai once demand is sufficient and vaccination rates exceed 70%. Although he also said: “We cannot expect an influx of demand here as the current gateway is Phuket.”
The government is still preparing to reopen to national tourists October 1. So if the travelers are already in Thailand, there is a possibility that they will be heading to northern Thailand next month.
Thai authorities had to reopen Bangkok for tourism on October 1, but last week they postponed it to October 15. The proposed delay was due to the fact that most Bangkok residents are still waiting for their second vaccination.
However, local authorities believe they will have administered COVID-19 vaccines to 70% of their residents by mid-October. Still, reports suggest Bangkok may not reopen until November 1.
Furthermore, Pattaya is expected to reopen on Oct. 1 according to reports. The mayor of Pattaya suggests that they are ready to open the “Pattaya Move On Sandbox Scheme” to international visitors on October 1st.
However, this contradicts Thanet Phetsuwan’s belief that Chon Buri will delay its reopening until November 1. All of this proves how uncertain Thailand’s reopening is at this time.
There is a lot of conflicting messages and uncertainty, which prevents many people from traveling to Thailand at the moment.
The COVID-19 situation in Thailand
Thailand has controlled COVID-19 for the vast majority of 2020. However, the Delta variant entered Thailand in April 2020 and spiral case.
The 7-day average in August was over 20,000 per day, but cases have now fallen to about a 7-day weekly average of 10,000 cases. Currently, Thailand appears to have brought COVID-19 under control.
Thailand has increased its vaccination rollout since May 2020. Today, the nation has fully vaccinated 21.5 percent of their population. In addition, Thailand gave a dose to 41.7% of its population.
Reopening of Thailand so far
The Thai government extended the program last month, adding the following destinations to the sandbox program: Koh Phi Phi, Koh Ngai and Railay in Krabi; Khao Lak and Koh Yao in Phang-Nga; and the three main islands of Surat Thani, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.
Current entry conditions
According to Thai government guidelines for October, all visitors must provide full proof of vaccination. Travelers should received their second dose of vaccinatione at least 14 days before entering Thailand.
Thailand accepts WHO-approved vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Sinovac. Visitors will also need to provide a negative review PCR test within 72 hours of arrival in Thailand. Once the travelers arrive, they will have another PCR test on arrival.
Next, travelers will need to go directly to a SHA-plus approved hotel and wait for the PCR test result. Travelers will also need travel health insurance with coverage of at least 100,000 USD.
Reopening Thailand is complicated, and there are various restrictions across the country.
Stay tuned for more information on Thailand reopening in the coming weeks as the country seeks to bring back international visitors.
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