The Tourism and Sports Ministry has promised to reopen Thailand by January 2022. However, the move will depend on the country’s herd immunity.
Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn mentioned that Bangkok was planned to reopen next month. However, this has been postponed until November because locals will not get their second jab until October.
He said, “The reopening plan for Bangkok is more difficult because it encompasses a larger area and requires more time to create standard guidelines. On the other hand, Chon Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Chiang Mai will reopen on Oct 1 as scheduled.”
During the TAT and Tourism and Sports Ministry meeting, they approved to include areas on the 3rd phase of the reopening through a 7+7 extension plan.
Both government agencies agreed that starting on October 15, 25 destinations can be visited by tourists through the Sandbox Program as 2nd destinations after spending a week on any of these areas: Bangkok, Chaing Mai, Phuket, Samui, Chon Buri, Phetchaburi, and Prachuap Khiri Khan.
“Only safe areas can reopen to Thai tourists on Nov 1, while international tourists are expected to enter without quarantine from January, led by travel bubbles with neighboring countries starting on Jan 15”
– Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn
More importantly, the country must attain herd immunity by the end of this year, as specified by the government.
Since Thailand continues to have more than 10,000 daily COVID-19 cases, it has been demoted to the red list for specific target markets. The number of visitors this year may not surpass the 300,000 target. But, if Thailand can regain its safe list status this month, there are encouraging indications in the final quarter of the year, we may anticipate 1.2 million tourists.
Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said regions slated to reopen in October are developing standard guidelines before entering using quarantine-free methods similar to that used in the Phuket sandbox.