With many voices in the mix, TAT is the latest to offer a plan for reopening. October will continue to see 4 beach resort destinations welcoming vaccinated foreign tourists, while November will see 10 more destinations reopening to international tourism, including Bangkok & Hua Hin
The CCSA on Monday released more details on Thailand’s gradual reopening to tourists, now bringing us new colour coded Zones. COVID-19 “blue zones”, allow activities, similar to those in “green zone” provinces to occur. Blue Zones are those with previously or current high infection rates, know also as Red & Dark Red Zones but also have sufficient inoculation to theoretically prevent large outbreaks.
The CCSA’s spokesperson, Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin, announced that “blue zones” will allow people to travel freely, while businesses and activities can operate normally, under the control of the provincial communicable disease committees.
The phases as announced by the TAT are as follows
Pilot Phase (1-31 October, 2021)
This will continue with the four popular beach resorts, which were the first destinations to reopen – beginning with Phuket on 1 July, then Surat Thani’s Samui, Ko Pha-ngan and Ko Tao on 15 July, and most recently Krabi and Phang-Nga on 16 August linking with Phuket under the 7+7 Extension arrangement. This phase will also see reopening of new designated areas in Krabi – Khlong Muang and Thap Khaek.
First Phase (1-30 November, 2021)
This will see the reopening extended to 10 other tourism-driven destinations. These include all areas of Bangkok, Krabi and Phang-Nga, and designated areas in Buri Ram (Mueang), Chiang Mai (Mueang, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng, and Doi Tao), Chon Buri (Pattaya, Bang Lamung, Na Jomtien, and Sattahip), Loei (Chiang Khan), Phetchaburi (Cha-Am), Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin), and Ranong (Ko Phayam).
Second Phase (1-31 December, 2021)
The reopening will be extended to 20 more provinces which are tourism-driven, well-known for art and culture, or border destinations. These include Ayutthaya, Chiang Rai, Khon Kaen, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Nong Khai, Pathum Thani, Phatthalung, Phetchabun, Phrae, Rayong, Samut Prakan, Songkhla, Sukhothai, Trang, Trat, and Yala.
Third Phase (1 January, 2022, onwards)
This will see the reopening of 13 border provinces, including Bueng Kan, Chanthaburi, Kanchanaburi, Mukdahan, Nakhon Phanom, Nan, Ratchaburi, Sa Kaeo, Satun, Surin, Tak, Ubon Ratchathani, and Udon Thani.
With these border provinces opening, speculation is also sure to rise that land borders will open as well, perhaps even bringing back the famous ‘border bounce’ that many foreigners go through in order to continue their stay in the Kingdom.