Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry is aiming to open the whole country, without quarantine, by January next year, depending on the level of nationwide herd immunity.
Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said Bangkok was scheduled to reopen in October, as part of the second phase, but this phase has been delayed to November as the majority of residents will not receive their second vaccine dose until the end of October. Meanwhile, Chiang Mai, Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin) and Chon Buri (Pattaya) will go ahead as planned on October 1st.
He said a meeting between the ministry and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) agreed to add some provinces to the third phase of reopening, under the “7+7” extension program. As a result, from October 15th there will be 25 provinces which tourists can enter via the “sandbox” program, as second destinations after spending seven days in Phuket, Samui, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi or Bangkok.
Mr. Phiphat said the ministry needs to propose this list to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), in order to allocate a proper quantity of vaccines in time. However, if vaccination does not reach the required level in certain areas, select districts can be isolated or a sealed route is possible in the early stages.