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Thailand To Delay Reopening of Popular Tourism Destinations Until November

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Because of a slower than expected vaccination rollout, Thailand is considering delaying reopening many of its major tourist destinations in October. 

Reports from Thailand suggest that the Thai government will delay the reopening of five provinces as each province’s vaccination rate still lags behind the 70 percent coverage required to open up next month. 

Bangkok Skyline

The Proposed Reopening 

Thanet Phetsuwan, the deputy director for communications and marketing at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) stated Thailand may delay reopening the following provinces until November 1st:

  • Chiang Mai 
  • Chon Buri 
  • The City of Bangkok 
  • Phetchaburi
  • Prachuap Khiri Khan

Instead, it’s likely that Chiang Mai will focus on domestic tourism for the time being. Thailand is looking to reopen Chiang Mai to international visitors ASAP.

Nevertheless, the government has already delayed the reopening by one month, and it appears they will extend the “Charming Chaing Mai” scheme by another month until November 1st

Chiang Mai

Thanet Phetsuwan said international airlines are ready to fly directly into Chiang Mai once there is enough demand and vaccination rates are above 70 percent. Although he also said, “We cannot expect an influx of demand here as the current gateway is Phuket.”

The government is still preparing to reopen to domestic tourists on October 1st. So if travelers are already in Thailand, there’s a possibility they could travel to northern Thailand next month. 

The Thai authorities were due to reopen Bangkok for tourism on October 1st, but last week they delayed it until October 15th. The proposed delay was because most Bangkok residents are still awaiting their second vaccination.

However, local authorities believe they will have administered COVID-19 vaccines to 70 percent of their residents by mid-October. Yet reports suggest that Bangkok may not reopen until Novemebr 1st.

Furthermore, Pattaya is set to reopen on October 1st according to reports. The Mayor of Pattaya suggests they are ready to open the “Pattaya Move On Sandbox Scheme” to international visitors on October 1st.

Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya

However, this contradicts Thanet Phetsuwan belief that Chon Buri will delay its reopening until November 1st. This all proves how uncertain Thailand’s reopening is right now. 

There's a lot of mixed messages and uncertainty, which is stopping many people from traveling to Thailand at the moment.

The COVID-19 Situation In Thailand

Thailand controlled COVID-19 throughout the vast majority of 2020. However, the Delta variant entered Thailand in April 2020 and cases spiraled.

The 7-day average in August was above 20,000 per day, but cases have now dropped to around a 7-day weekly average of 10,000 cases. Currently, Thailand appears to have got COVID-19 under control.

thailand market masks covid food

Thailand has increased its vaccination rollout since May 2020. Today, the nation has fully vaccinated 21.5 percent of their population. In addition, Thailand has given one dose to 41.7 percent of its population.

Thailand’s Reopening So Far 

On July 1st, Thailand started the Phuket Sandbox Program. The scheme has helped reopen some of the southern islands for local tourism. 

The Thai government expanded the program last month, adding the following destinations to the sandbox scheme: Koh Phi Phi, Koh Ngai, and Railay in Krabi; Khao Lak and Koh Yao in Phang-Nga; and Surat Thani’s three main islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao.

Koh Samui Beach

The Current Entry Requirements 

Under Thailand’s government guidance for October, all visitors must provide evidence of full vaccination. Travelers must have received their second vaccination dose at least 14 days before entering Thailand. 

Thailand accepts WHO-approved vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Sinovac. Visitors will also need to provide a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival in Thailand. Once travelers arrive, they will have another PCR test on arrival.

Thailand during COVID-19

Then, travelers will need to head straight to a SHA-plus approved hotel and wait for the PCR test result. Travelers will also need travel health insurance with coverage of at least 100,000 USD. 

Thailand’s reopening is complicated, and there are different restrictions throughout the country.

Stay tuned for more news on Thailand’s reopening in the coming weeks as the country seeks to bring back international visitors.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Friday 24th of September 2021

I'm an expat living in Bangkok. The people here are super desperate for tourist to return so that they can make a living.

Restaurants are open but there's no tourist. Curfew at 9pm. Masks everywhere. Most of the restaurants have stickers outside that say their staff is 100% vaccinated. There's a body temperature meter at every entrance to every building but most places do not enforce it.

I can imagine the same lazy lack of enforcement with vaccine passports if they were to ever implement them. I blame(thank) Thai culture.

So if you're unvaccinated foreigner like me, you got nothing to worry about as of right now.


Thursday 23rd of September 2021

Thailand will not successfully open to foreign tourism until they have someone in the government who has a brain. You can not expect tourists to return until you drop these draconian restrictions. Quarantines, $100,000 Medical Insurance, Specific Government Approved Hotels for up to two weeks, and Needless COVID testing despite being vaccinated. These policies make no sense. It's almost like Thailand is trying to throw itself in economic turmoil. They have to recognize that you need to coexist with COVID like other countries. Everytime there is an outbreak, the government shuts everything down. This is insane.


Thursday 23rd of September 2021

I GIVE UP. SEE YOU NEVER, THAILAND. keep us on suspense by announcing the reopening 9 months in advance only to constantly change things. no thanks


Thursday 23rd of September 2021

Called it


Thursday 23rd of September 2021

Thai gov going to starve their population to death with all those restrictions. Local population catering to tourists barely make ends meet without tourists and no gov support.