Thailand allows some vaccinated tourists to bypass quarantine

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Bangkok (CNN)—— From November 1st, Thailand allowed fully vaccinated tourists from a few approved countries to bypass the quarantine, thus taking a step towards completely reopening the tourism industry.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut stated that the move is to allow Thailand to take advantage of travelers who wish to escape during the upcoming wilting holiday.

He said in a statement: “We must act quickly but still cautiously, and do not miss the opportunity to attract some year-end and New Year holiday travelers… to support the millions of people who rely on our tourism industry to make a living.” The statement.

Initially, the kingdom will begin this policy in 10 countries, including Singapore, Germany, China, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Other countries/regions will be added to the list on December 1.

Eligible tourists from these countries need to prove that they were not infected with the new crown virus while traveling. They must show evidence of a negative PCR test performed in their home country before leaving, and then be tested again after arriving in Thailand.

The relaxation of restrictions follows the implementation of local blockades from June to August in high-risk areas in Thailand.

Under these restrictions, millions of people have been told to stay at home as much as possible and stop traveling locally. Schools are closed, public transportation is suspended, and gatherings are prohibited.

The much-discussed “Phuket Sandbox” opened in July, allowing tourists to stay in isolation on the island of Thailand for two weeks before being allowed to travel freely in other parts of Thailand.

This idea was considered essential to saving the kingdom’s tourism economy, so much so that the Minister of Tourism Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn greeted the first round of tourists at the airport — flying in from Doha, Tel Aviv, Abu Dhabi and Singapore — on the opening day.

As the reopening was announced, other Asia-Pacific countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand began to abandon their “Coronavirus Zero” strategy.
At the same time, neighboring Vietnam is formulating a gradual reopening plan that will involve the reopening of popular tourist areas such as Hanoi and Hoi An before the end of the year, and full reopening across the country by June 2022.

The prime minister said: “Now is the time for us to prepare for the coronavirus and coexist with it.”.

Top image source: DENE CHEN/AFP via Getty Images

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