BANGKOK, Sept 18 (The Nation Thailand/ANN): The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Wednesday released new guidelines for reopening the country to tourists from October.
This was in response to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha’s call on agencies to devise a system for reopening the country during the high season this year.
The CCSA’s new guidelines are:
• Survey what areas can be reopened under sandbox conditions in line with the Phuket Sandbox scheme. If they are islands, they can join the 7+7 sandbox extension. If they are areas that have airports, then a system can be set up to conduct Covid-19 tests on new arrivals.
• Come up with prevention and control measures in areas that will be opened. Ensure locals are prepared and make enough vaccines available to curb the spread of the virus.
• See if the areas to be reopened have enough hospital beds and medics to treat patients should infections spread.
The Public Health and Tourism and Sports ministries are expected to discuss details of these measures, after which the Interior and Tourism and Sports Ministries will start reopening the country in two phases:
• Phase 1 from October 1: Areas ready to reopen under sandbox schemes.
• Phase 2 from October 15 or November 1: Reopening destinations that either have cultural attractions, mountains or seas in the North and the East of the country.
Meanwhile, the plan to reopen Bangkok by October 1 has been postponed by two weeks because most residents are waiting for their second jab.
So far, 37 per cent of the city’s population has been fully vaccinated, while another 33 per cent are waiting for their second shot.
Apart from Bangkok, the reopening of Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Hua hin and Cha-am is also in the pipeline. Thailand has already opened Phuket and Koh Samui under sandbox conditions, followed by Krabi and Phang Nga. - The Nation Thailand/ANN