the essential Thailand will gradually reopen its borders to foreign visitors vaccinated from November 1, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha announced on Monday
As a first step, Thailand will accept tourists from ten “countries considered to be low risk”, said the head of government during a televisual address – in particular the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Germany and Singapore.
The list may be extended in the coming months.
Compulsory on-site test
Visitors must present a negative Covid test on arrival and take a new one on site. “They will then be able to travel freely like the Thais”, welcomed the Prime Minister.
Until now, only the “sandbox” program allowed vaccinated tourists to go to the seaside resort of Phuket (south).
But they were forced to stay for a week in a hotel on the island before they could venture to other parts of the kingdom.
Tourism accounted for a fifth of Thailand’s GDP before the pandemic.
Tough restrictions on travelers to fight the virus have caused the number of foreign visitors to plummet. In 2020, arrivals plunged 83% to 6.7 million from a record high of 39, 9 million in 2019.
18 000 death of the Covid – 18
As a result, Thailand posted its worst economic performance in more than two decades last year, losing an estimated 50 billion dollars in tourism revenue.
The country has been relatively spared by the Covid – 19 in 2020. But since April, contaminations have skyrocketed: in total, more than 1.7 million cases and nearly 18 000 deaths have been recorded.
More than 30% of the population has received two doses of vaccines and the situation has tended to improve in recent weeks.