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Saturday 25 September 2021

Thai tourism reopenings pushed back

Thailand's reopening to tourists has hit a snag.

Chiang Mai, Chonburi, Phetchaburi,and Prachuap Khiri Khan were all set to open to tourists from October 1, but that is likely to be delayed by at least a month until November 1.

The impending delay was revealed after meetings between the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Public Health Ministry.

Officials were concerned by the sluggish vaccination rate which had already led to a short delay in reopening Bangkok, Travel Mole reported.

The capital will also not likely open until November along with the other provinces.

Pattaya City's mayor said the tourist hotspot was ready but expects a delay while Bangkok's mayor had already said the capital would not be opening in early October as originally signalled.

Bangkok officials had sought more time as many shuttered hotels still need to be reactivated and certified as Covid-safe.

There is, however, some good news for anyone planning to visit the Asian nation.

Thailand's disease control committee has proposed a halving of a two-week hotel isolation requirement for vaccinated arrivals.

Thailand is keen to welcome back foreign visitors, after nearly 18 months of strict entry policies caused a collapse in the tourism industry, a key sector that drew 40 million visitors in 2019.

"Reducing the quarantine is not only about tourism, but will help business travel and foreign students," senior health official Opas Karnkawinpong told a news conference, adding tests would also be required.

Under the proposal, to be presented to the Government on Monday, those without vaccination proof would be isolated for 10 days if arriving by air, and 14 days if by land.

Only Phuket and Koh Samui currently waive quarantine requirements for vaccinated tourists, as part of a pilot scheme.

Less than a quarter of the estimated 72 million people living in Thailand have been fully vaccinated.

The country is still fighting a severe wave of infections. 

Image: William Summers/Scopio 

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