COVID-19: Update on Thailand opening
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has vowed to have the country open to fully vaccinated tourists from a limited number of countries from 1 November 2021, with a full reopening by 1 January 2022.
Initially eligible low-risk countries will include: China, Germany, Singapore, the UK and USA. It’s hoped that Australia won’t be far behind.
But some Thai medical experts are concerned, while some tourism bodies regard the re-opening as a bit of a race with other Asian countries as competitors.
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Thailands reopening – current plans
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has been preparing the way for the country’s reopening, including piloting reopenings that don’t require guest quarantine in key tourist destinations like Phuket.
The previously announced reopening was to include a limited range of provinces including Bangkok, but the PM’s new reopening policy seems to embrace the whole country while limiting which countries’ citizens can enter Thailand.
Thailand is hoping to reach 70% vaccination by the re-opening date.
Oh, and the Prime Minister is also promising that you will be able to consume alcoholic beverages in restaurants, as well as entertainment
Who can enter
From 1 November according to the TAT website:
Under the plan, fully vaccinated foreign visitors from the approved countries will need to show that they are COVID-free at their time of travel with an RT-PCR test undertaken before they leave their home country, and do a test in Thailand, after which they will be free to move around Thailand in the same way that any Thai citizen can do, the Prime Minister said.Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)
If you are unvaccinated, then you can still enter, but you will have to stay in quarantine according to the government regulations that apply at the time.
Naturally, health experts are concerned that the move could herald a wave of increased infection rates which will strain medical and testing resources, as has happened in more countries that have pursued this course.
Well, I did predict this would happen soon, and it looks like they left it until the beginning of 2023 to make the announcements.
Thailand has a mixed history on its management of the pandemic, as well as apparent contradictions and changes in its border, quarantine and tourism COVID-19 policies.
Thailand is one of my favourite destinations, and I long to go back, but I think I would feel more comfortable with a fully vaccinated rate of over 80% before I visit.