Atravelux Travel Update!
Thailand opens Bangkok, reduces nationwide quarantine
Thailand has laid out its nationwide reopening plans, which will roll out in four phases starting October, including a further easing of its mandatory quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated foreign travellers.
Starting 1 October, all fully vaccinated international visitors — for at least 14 days and with proof of certificate — will serve a 7-day quarantine instead of 14 days, or 10 days for those who are not fully inoculated.
However, fully vaccinated visitors will still need to take two PCR tests: on the first day of arrival, and again between days six and seven.
Then from 1 November, Thailand will waive its mandatory quarantine requirement in capital Bangkok and nine regions, including the popular tourist regions of Chiang Mai, Cha-am, Hua Hin, Krabi, Pattaya and Phangnga, following Phuket and Koh Samui's reopenings for fully vaccinated travellers since July.
The reopening measures come as the country steps up immunisation rates nationwide, after initial supply shortages. According to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), the goal is to vaccinate 70% of its people per province. As of 1 October, 11 provinces, including Bangkok, has already hit the 50% mark.
As well, reopening plans include adding provinces progressively into 'Blue Zones', where travel is not restricted, and gatherings of a maximum of 500 people are allowed.
The initial phase of the 'Blue Zone' is currently ongoing until 31 October, covering Phuket, parts the popular islands of Koh Samui, Phi Phi, and Pha-ngan.
Thailand is keen to welcome back foreign visitors, after 18 months of strict entry policies resulting in a severely depressed economy for the tourism-reliant country — including capital Bangkok, which has consistently topped Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index for six of the seven years since 2013.
However, vaccination rates will have to speed up ahead of November's mandatory quarantine waiver, since latest government updates show that Bangkok is ranked first place amongst 10 Thai provinces with the highest number of Covid-19 infections — 1,423 cases as of 1 October, as compared to the next highest of 861 at Samut Prakan.