Thailand to re-open borders to vaccinated tourists from 10 nations
- Prior to the pandemic, tourism made up almost 20% of Thailand’s national income
- Thailand will be reopening itself to fully vaccinated tourists travelling by air from “low risk countries”
- Out of these 10 nations, the major ones are Britain, the United States, China, Germany and Singapore
Thailand is all set to fully re-open to vaccinated travellers from low risk countries starting November 1, said the country’s leader. This comes after the country has been witnessing a plummeting economy and a rising need for it to be saved.
Prior to the pandemic, tourism made up almost 20% of Thailand’s national income. However, due to the COVID-led restrictions, the economy has taken a hit, marking its worst performance in over 20 years.
On Monday, Premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha announced that the country will be reopening itself to fully vaccinated tourists travelling by air from “low risk countries”. Out of these 10 nations, the major ones are most likely Britain, the United States, China, Germany and Singapore. The list will be available by the end of October. “When they arrive, they should present a (negative) Covid test ... and test once again upon arrival,” the prime minister said in a televised address.
“After getting a negative test, they can travel freely like Thais,” he said.
His announcement eases restrictions significantly, since earlier it was mandatory for tourists to undergo at least seven days hotel quarantine.
“To date, 48% of Thais nationwide have received at least a single vaccine dose, while more than 30% have double-jabbed,” health officials said Monday.
Prayut said authorities will “consider allowing alcoholic drinks in restaurants and reopening entertainment venues under strict health measures” during the New Year’s Eve period,
He, however, also noted that his decision to reopen the borders could pose risk of more coronavirus cases.
“But I think the people will not be able to stand it if they have to lose a second chance at this business opportunity,” the premier said, citing that countries like Britain and Australia are loosening their travel restrictions too.
“The time has come for us to ready ourselves to face the coronavirus and live with it ... much as we have learnt to live with other diseases with treatments and vaccinations,” he said.