Vang Vieng, Lao PDR

Thailand will fully reopen to vaccinated travellers in mid-October, says PM

Photo: Travel Daily

As the government seeks to restart the crucial coronavirus-devastated tourism industry, Thailand’s Prime minister announced that the country will fully reopen to vaccinated foreign visitors by mid-October.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said fully inoculated foreign visitors and returning Thai citizens must be allowed entry without quarantine or other inconvenient restrictions, and that his goal is to open up the country within 120 days.

The PM acknowledged that the push to re-open might create problems. “I know this decision comes with some risk because, when we open the country, there will be an increase in infections, no matter how good our precautions,” he said. “But I think when we take into consideration the economic needs of the people, the time has come for us to take that calculated risk.” He said the government would reconsider only if a serious situation develops.

The government had previously targeted next January for reopening the country. Thailand is in the midst of a surge in coronavirus cases that started in April and has accounted for more than 80% of the country’s 204,595 total confirmed cases and 90% of its 1,525 deaths.

The surge has caused special concern because Thailand has been late in securing and deploying vaccine supplies.

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