BANGKOK, June 20 (Bernama): Thailand is planning for wider reopening to vaccinated visitors, without the need to undergo mandatory quarantine, to its top tourist destinations from July 1, in a bid to revive its tourism industry hit hard by Covid-19 pandemic.
To curb the Covid-19 outbreak, Thailand imposed strict entry requirement and quarantine measures last year where the travel curbs saw tourist arrivals in the kingdom plummet to 6.7 million last year compared to nearly 40 million visitors in 2019.
Starting July 1, Thailand popular resort island, Phuket sets to reopen to fully vaccinated visitors under "Phuket Sandbox” while famous tourist islands Koh Samui, Koh Phang Nga and Koh Tao under "Samui Plus” scheduled to 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 ‘extension’ to the concept where travellers to Phuket will link with "Krabi Even More Amazing” which include Koh Phi Phi, Koh Ngai and Koh Railay or "Phang Nan Prompt” (linking Khao Lak and Koh Yao).
From September, TAT said the "Sealed Approach” will 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 the Chang Arena).
Starting October or within the fourth quarter, TAT said Bangkok, Cha-Am and Hua Hin, as well as any other Thai destinations that is ready will be reopened to vaccinated foreign tourists without quarantine.
TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said TAT has been instructed by the Ministry of Tourism and Sport to adjust its strategy with the aim to reopen pilot destinations under the ‘island and sealed approach’ within the third quarter, leading to the reopening of more destinations from October.
"For Buri Ram specifically, 70 per cent of the local population must be inoculated in preparation for the 2021 Thailand MotoGP at the Chang International Circuit on 8-10 October, ” he said.
The reopening plan for these tourist destinations come with conditions that these provinces have vaccinated 70 per cent of their population and the infection rate is at no more than 20 to 30 cases per day.
On June 16, Prime Minister Prayuth ChanO-Cha announced Thailand will reopen to fully vaccinated visitors within the next 120 days or by mid-October to revive its economy impacted severely by the Covid-19.
Thailand plans to inoculate 50 million people with at least their first shots administered by early October.
Over the last 24 hours, Thailand recorded 3, 667 new Covid-19 cases and 32 fatalities, bringing the total infections in the kingdoms to 214, 449 and 1, 609 deaths to date.
Of the new cases, Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said 3, 635 were local transmission and 32 imported cases.
The fatalities involved 17 females and 15 men aged between 40 and 89 years old 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