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All of Thailand Now Opening to Visitors Without Quarantine Announces PM

TV screen grab showing Thailand’s Prime Minister yesterday announcing the opening of the country without quarantine for visitors.

In a televised nationwide broadcast, Thailand’s Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha announced, “Now it’s time for us to slowly prepare ourselves for restarting international tourism. Today I want to announce one small but important step.”

  1. The government had earlier planned to open only Bangkok and several provinces.
  2. Today’s announcement confirmed the entire country would be reopening.
  3. Beginning November 1, Thailand will start accepting non-guaranteed entry by air for those who have completed their vaccinations.

“Over the next two weeks, we will begin to gradually allow people to travel without difficult conditions. The UK, Singapore and Australia are starting to relax their travel conditions abroad for their nationals. With this kind of progress, we still have to be careful, but we have to advance quickly. I have therefore instructed the Ministry of Public Health from 1 November onwards, that Thailand will start accepting non-guaranteed entry into Thailand for those who have completed their vaccinations and enter Thailand by air,” the PM stated. 

The government had earlier planned to open only Bangkok and several provinces. Monday’s announcement indicated that the reopening would cover all parts of the country.

“When entering Thailand, all persons must show that they are free from COVID-19, with proof of the results of a RT-PCR test, which is tested before leaving the country of origin and will be tested for COVID-19 again upon arrival in Thailand. Afterwards they can travel freely to different areas just like normal Thai people can.

“Initially, we will accept visitors from low-risk countries. To be able to travel to Thailand 10 countries will include UK, Singapore, Germany, China and the United States.

“Our aim, will be to increase the number of countries further by December 1, 2021, and after that, by January 1, 2022,” said the PM.

For visitors from countries that are not on the list of low-risk countries, they are still welcome but may face greater restrictions including quarantine.

The Prime Minister went on to say: “By December 1, 2021, we will consider allowing alcoholic beverages to be consumed in restaurants and to also allow leisure and entertainment venues to operate especially during the New Year celebrations.

“I know this decision comes with some risk. It is almost certain that we will see a temporary rise in serious cases as we relax these restrictions.

“I do not think that the many millions who depend on the sector can possibly afford the devastating blow of a second lost new year holiday period.

“But if there is an unexpected emergence of the virus in the months ahead, Thailand will act accordingly.”

The sector accounts for 20% of GDP. Revenue from foreign tourists alone was about 15% of GDP, with almost 40 million travelers from abroad, especially Chinese.

The Bank of Thailand estimate only 200,000 foreign arrivals this year increasing to 6 million next year.

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Andrew J. Wood - eTN Thailand

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