Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Quarantineless entry to Bangkok from Oct



Quarantineless entry to Bangkok from Oct

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Thailand plans to reopen the capital Bangkok and 24 other destinations to fully vaccinated visitors in October. AFP

Quarantineless entry to Bangkok from Oct

Thailand plans to reopen Bangkok to fully vaccinated visitors next month, officials said on September 10, as the kingdom seeks to salvage a tourism industry hammered by the pandemic.

Tourism made up a fifth of Thailand’s national income in 2019 but severe travel curbs imposed to fight Covid-19 saw the usual flood of foreign visitors dwindle to almost nothing, contributing to the economy’s worst performance in over 20 years.

The kingdom is pressing ahead with plans to reopen despite a deadly third wave of infections, driven by the Delta variant.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand said that from October 1, fully vaccinated foreign travellers will be able to visit Bangkok and four other provinces without undergoing two weeks’ hotel quarantine.

Instead, the five areas – also including Chiang Mai, Chonburi, Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan provinces – are expected to follow a “sandbox” model of the type piloted since July in the holiday island of Phuket.

Under the Sandbox scheme, tourists have to stay within a certain area for seven days after arrival and take Covid-19 tests.

Later in October, 21 more destinations will be added to the list including Chiang Rai, Sukhothai and popular seaside getaway Rayong.

But Thailand’s third and deadliest Covid-19 wave has not yet fully subsided, and the tourism agency warned the plans could change.

Thailand got through 2020 relatively unscathed by Covid-19, recording low numbers of infections, but since April, the Delta variant has taken hold and cases have soared to more than 1.3 million, with almost 14,000 deaths.

More than 29,000 fully vaccinated international visitors hit the beach at Phuket under its Sandbox scheme, generating nearly $50 million in revenue, according to government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.

Three more Thai islands also reopened – Samui, Tao and Phangan – with slightly more onerous restrictions.

One cloud hanging over Thailand’s tourism revival plans is the travel advice of other countries discouraging would-be tourists from visiting.

Britain and the US have warned against travel to Thailand because of rising case numbers and low vaccination rates.

About 16 per cent of the Thai population have received two coronavirus vaccine doses, the government’s Covid-19 task force said.

Similarly, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has agreed in principle with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s proposal on a pilot plan to welcome international tourists with vaccine passports to the resort island of Phu Quoc – also known by its Khmer name Koh Tral – in the southern province of Kien Giang for six months from October.

According to a draft pilot scheme, the plan targets foreign tourists who have been fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus or those with certificates of recovery from Covid-19 recognised by an authorised agency in Vietnam.

Eligible tourists should be given their second shots at least 14 days and no more than 12 months before entry. For those who have recovered from Covid-19, the time from hospital discharge to their entry date must not exceed 12 months. Travellers will be requested to take a RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to their departure, and certified negative for Covid-19 in English by authorities of the country that conduct the test.

The scheme will be applied for visitors who have registered to join package tours of travel agencies.

AFP, VIET NAM NEWS/Asia News Network

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia to waive quarantine requirements Nov 15, no PCR test required

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to lift all quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and visitors – both Cambodians and foreign nationals – effective from November 15 onward. In a special message addressed to officials and relevant authorities on November 14, Hun Sen said this policy will enable

  • PM: No more quarantine for vaccinated travellers

    Cambodia is lifting all quarantine requirements for vaccinated inbound travellers entering Cambodia by air, waterway or land border checkpoints effective from November 15. Travellers will be required to take a rapid antigen test on arrival rather than waiting for the results of the lengthier polymerase chain

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration