Thailand welcomes international visitors as Australians envision more freedom


A major overseas vacation destination is gearing up to welcome international visitors – which could provide an added incentive for those with travel itchiness to get vaccinated.

Holidays in Thailand can be hard to imagine for Australians who are not allowed to go abroad, especially for the millions of Victorians who, at this point, are still stuck at home.

But while national immunization coverage exceeds 62.4% for people aged 16 and over, we are getting closer to leaving for vacations or to reunite with family and friends abroad.

Could we get tickets to Thailand by New Years?

This has not been ruled out. The country announced Tuesday morning that it plans to no longer force vaccinated visitors to self-quarantine – a move that will make access to one of the country’s holiday islands more affordable.

So far, he has named 10 countries on the list of countries without quarantine.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said the first group would include arrivals from the UK, Singapore, Germany, China and the United States starting next month.

The list would be expanded on December 1.

Other countries would be appointed by January 1, the prime minister said.

Thailand’s economy has been severely affected by losses suffered by its huge tourism industry, including the loss of the 800,000 Australian visitors it usually receives each year.

The possibility of a bilateral “travel bubble” deal with Australia was raised in late 2020 when Thailand’s Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said his government was looking for ways to attract “luxury” travelers.

Thailand allowed foreigners this year, but visitors faced onerous and costly quarantine requirements.

Even now, Bangkok and other areas have a 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew and other restrictions to try to tame a virulent third wave of the coronavirus that began in April this year.

“The time has come for us to prepare to face the coronavirus and to live with it as with other endemic infections and diseases, just as we have learned to live with other diseases with treatments and vaccinations,” he said. Mr Prayuth said.

All visitors will still be required to present negative COVID test results before embarking for Thailand and will need another test upon arrival, after which they will be free to travel to Thailand.

It’s a tasty carrot for the 18 percent of Australian adults who have yet to receive their first dose.

There are also a lot of incentives at home.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath has hinted that the state’s borders with NSW, Victoria and ACT could reopen five to six weeks if 80% double-dose coverage is achieved.

Victoria and NSW are also planning to announce more freedoms for daily life.

Here is a summary of the latest news from the lockdown.

New South Wales

The rain did not dampen NSW’s first day of freedom after months of lockdowns with thousands flooding pubs and flocking to the living room.

But crowds may soon be back in stadiums and nightclubs statewide, with NSW already on the verge of another critical COVID-19 vaccination milestone.

More than 80% of the population will be fully vaccinated as of next Monday, the next threshold for easing restrictions.

As of Sunday – with 496 new locally acquired cases in New South Wales as well as eight deaths – 74% of the state’s population had received two doses of a vaccine.

In the meantime, residents of NSW took advantage of “Freedom Day” on Monday.

Gyms, cafes, restaurants, shops and hairdressers have reopened and people have been allowed to travel more than three miles from their homes.

Families and friends also gathered inside the houses.

While authorities, business owners and reception staff were concerned about a potential conflict with unvaccinated people being denied entry and on-site service, most New Brunswickers South Wales were on their best behavior.

Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet called for patience and goodwill to continue, as companies readjust and get used to checking the immunization status of their customers.

“There is no doubt that there will be issues of youth … but if we take care of each other, if we respect each other, we can make sure that NSW gets through this time and comes out stronger on the other side.” , says Perrottet.

Unlike his predecessor Gladys Berejiklian, Perrottet said he had no concerns about calling Monday a “Freedom Day” for the state, but reiterated that existing restrictions must still be respected.

Despite these limitations – including wearing masks, social distancing and strict density limits and site caps – Small Business Minister Damien Tudehope said the mood in NSW was uplifting.


Victoria is on track to become “one of the most vaccinated jurisdictions,” according to state health minister Martin Foley.

Now, older Victorians who refused to get AstraZeneca’s coup can now access Pfizer and Moderna as the state rushes to reopen.

Mr Foley said there are now enough vaccines in Victoria to open all brands to all age groups eligible for inoculation.

“This change, which is now in effect, was made possible by the relative certainty we now have for Moderna and Pfizer, and the extraordinary number of young people who have come forward over the past three and a half weeks,” he said. -he declares. journalists Monday.

Previously, people over 60 could only receive the AstraZeneca vaccine in state centers.

As of Sunday, 85.8% of Victorians over 16 had received their first vaccine, including 92.9% of people over 50.

On Monday, the state recorded 1,612 more cases and eight deaths – two women and six men.

More than 30% of new infections were recorded in the northern suburbs of Melbourne.

There are 19,000 active infections in the state, and the death toll from the current outbreak is 93.

The number of people hospitalized continues to increase, with 677 patients including 133 in intensive care and 94 of them on a ventilator.


ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr is expected to reveal more details on how Canberra emerges from the COVID-19 lockdown on Tuesday, ahead of the relaxation of stay-at-home orders later this week.

Canberra’s lockdown will end on October 15, which will see cafes, bars, restaurants and gyms reopen, with up to five visitors allowed into the house.

While ACT’s roadmap for the lockdown has already been unveiled, Mr Barr said more specific details would be announced on Tuesday before the reopening.

Mr Barr said an announcement was also expected later this week on travel arrangements between ACT and NSW once Canberra ends its lockdown.

“I also hope by probably Wednesday or Thursday to have confirmation from NSW on how they view the ACT in terms of their own COVID provisions,” he said.

The Canberrans can still face hefty fines for crossing the border over the next few days for non-essential reasons, following the easing of restrictions in NSW.

Further relaxation of travel restrictions between the two jurisdictions is expected in the coming weeks, in line with NSW allowing freedoms to the unvaccinated in December.

“Travel will change this Friday and beyond in late October, then in December when NSW relinquishes their vaccinated versus unvaccinated status,” Barr said.

Other changes are also planned for the coming weeks in the way ACT health authorities will report COVID-19 cases and exposure sites.

The chief minister said changes would be outlined shortly on who should be quarantined should they come into contact with the virus.

Mr Barr said that as it reopens, the focus will be less on the number of cases and more on the vaccine numbers.

“The disease is rampant in our community and there will be hundreds of cases, but vaccines prevent serious illness,” he said.

“If you are a carrier of the virus and you are a case, you will still need to quarantine, but there will definitely be occasional contact settings changes. “

The ACT recorded 32 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, including 25 linked to known cases.

There are 18 people hospitalized with the virus, including seven in intensive care and six on a ventilator.

ACT is the first jurisdiction in the country to register 70 percent of its residents over the age of 12 fully immunized.

There are now 71.1 percent of those over 12 having both doses while 97.8 percent had one dose.

Mr Barr said Canberra is on its way to becoming one of the most vaccinated cities in the world.

-with AAP

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