The Thai authorities informed that from October 1, foreigners accused of the coronavirus will not have to undergo quarantine. The new rules apply to the capital of Thailand – Bangkok and four other provinces. The government spokesman has already announced that more will join them soon.
Thailand, addicted to mass tourism, is expanding its experimental program to attract foreign visitors. The peak tourist season begins in the fall. From October, outside Bangkok, the provinces of Chonburi, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chiang Mai will open wider to tourists.
Government spokesman Tanakorn Wangboonkongchana announced on Friday that 21 more provinces and regions are to join them in the coming weeks. All of them are currently accelerating the coronavirus vaccination program and planned promotional campaigns targeting foreign visitors. As Tanakorn pointed out, this is the second phase of the planned easing of epidemic restrictions, which is to help the local economy.
Over 30,000 people benefited from the program
As part of the pilot program that has been running since July, vaccinated tourists from countries and territories with a low to medium risk of infection, including Poland, can fly to the southern island of Phuket without quarantine. More than 30,000 people have benefited from the scheme so far, according to government figures, spending 1.6 billion baht, or $ 50 million, there in July and August, according to the Thai Tourism Authority (TAT).
The government considers the program successful, although in 2019 Phuket was visited by 10.5 million tourists who spent 13 billion dollars. In the year before the pandemic, the entire Thai tourism sector generated nearly 20 percent of GDP. The historical record of arrivals of foreign holidaymakers was also broken then: 39.9 million. In 2020, due to pandemic restrictions, the number of foreign vacationers dropped by 83%. – up to 6.7 million – and the country lost about $ 50 billion on this.
Since September, Bangkok and the 28 most affected provinces have been partially back to normal after a two-month partial lockdown, with several airlines launching previously suspended domestic flights.
Many countries still advise against travel to Thailand
Although around 16% of the population has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus in the Asian kingdom. population, the number of new infections has been steadily declining since mid-August. However, the situation remains difficult: in the last week of each day, there were an average of 14.8 thousand. coronavirus infection. Since the beginning of the epidemic, 1.35 million of them have been detected, and approx. 14 thousand have died. patients with Covid-19 people. Many countries, including the US and the UK, continue to advise their citizens not to travel to Thailand.
Main photo source: EPA / RUNGROJ YONGRIT Supplier: