Last night, the Prime Minister of Thailand Prayuth Chan-o-cha revealed his country’s plans to allow travelers from some countries to be able to enter the country without having to quarantine upon their arrival. The news is bound to be celebrated by travelers, as the country’s previous entry requirements and mandatory hotel quarantine have long been cited as a reason why so few travelers have returned to the Land of Smiles since the pandemic began around 18 months ago.
Famed for its stunning islands, unforgettable nightlife and some of the world’s top food dishes, Thailand is the very definition a must-visit destination for any travelers heading to South East Asia. Here’s a closer look at their plans to reopen without quarantine, and what the current Covid-19 situation is like in the country.
Thailand To Remove Quarantine – Information For Travelers
For the first half of the pandemic or so, it looked as though Thailand had it all figured out and would be among the first major tourist destinations to fully reopen. However, the turn of the new year brought increased case numbers to the country. A result of the combination of both the rapid spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant and a slow vaccine rollout saw Thailand regularly registering in excess of over 20,000 in the month of August, its worst period of the pandemic so far.
However, the number of cases of Covid-19 in Thailand now appears to well and truly be on the better side of the curve. The country is now registering an average of just 10,000 daily cases, and vaccination rates have increased, with around 50% of the population having received at least one dose of the vaccine and a third of the population fully vaccinated. The country is now in a position where it can safely allow tourists to enter in greater numbers – and that’s exactly what they’re planning to do.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha announced plans to reopen the country without quarantine for vaccinated travelers from a select group of countries. Whilst there is yet to be more concrete announcements made about these plans, countries listed by the Prime Minister that the new rule would apply to include the US, UK, Germany, Singapore and China, adding that the full list would be at least 10 “low-risk” countries.
The Prime Minister told the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and the Public Health Ministry to consider the reopening without quarantine from November 1st. He also revealed that travelers hoping to enter without needing to quarantine would need to take a PCR test in their own countries, as well as once they arrive in Thailand. Prayut also stated that the quarantine-free travel list would be expanded on December 1st to include more low-risk countries.
The news is bound to be welcomed by both travelers and locals alike. A nation that depends on tourism, Thailand has struggled throughout the pandemic, with schemes designed to attract foreign tourists such as the Phuket Sandbox only managing to attract 46,000 international travelers since it was launched on July 1st. With quarantine proving to be a sticking point for many, this news could give Thai tourism the kick-start it needs.
Another factor for the lack of tourists could plausibly be the restrictions in the country. At present, bars and restaurants are not legally allowed to serve alcohol – leaving many tourists to feel they are being shortchanged with their experience of Thailand. However, this is set to change too, with the Prime Minister also revealing that the alcohol ban and closure of entertainment venues could be overturned by December 1st. More details from yesterday’s announcements are expected to be released in the coming days.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com