Thailand plans to fully reopen to vaccinated foreign visitors by mid-October as the government seeks to restart the crucial coronavirus-devastated tourism industry, the prime minister has announced.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said fully inoculated foreign visitors and returning Thai citizens must be allowed entry “without quarantine or other inconvenient restrictions,” and that his goal is to open up the country within 120 days. Prayuth acknowledged that the push to re-open might create problems. “I know this decision comes with some risk because, when we open the country, there will be an increase in infections, no matter how good our precautions,” he said.
“But I think when we take into consideration the economic needs of the people; the time has come for us to take that calculated risk,” he added. Prayuth said the government would reconsider only if a serious situation develops. The government had previously targeted next January for reopening the country.
Thailand is in the midst of a surge in coronavirus cases that started in April and has accounted for more than 80 per cent of the country’s 204,595 total confirmed cases and 90 per cent of its 1,525 deaths.