Vang Vieng, Lao PDR

Thailand aims to waive quarantine for vaccinated travellers visiting Bangkok from October

Local tourists visit the Grand Palace in Jun 7, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Jorge Silva)

Thailand plans to waive its mandatory quarantine for vaccinated visitors to its capital Bangkok and top tourist destinations from October, an official said on Friday (May 7), in a bid to revive a key industry battered by coronavirus travel curbs.

The new measure means easier access to hotspots such as Pattaya, Phang Nga, Koh Samui, Krabi and the capital Bangkok, deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul said, among 10 provinces that will welcome tourists with proof of vaccination against COVID-19 from Oct 1.

Thailand has since a year ago tightened visa processes and required all visitors and returning residents to undergo 14 days of quarantine in government-approved facilities.

The announcement comes as the resort island of Phuket prepares to open to vaccinated travellers in July in a pilot scheme for the broader plan. It is seeking to inoculate most of its residents before the reopening, and before mass vaccinations begin in the rest of Thailand.

Tourism a key source of income and jobs for Thailand. In 2019, it welcomed a record 39.9 million visitors who spent 1.91 trillion baht (US$61.32 billion).

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