Reopening On Hold – Update
Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) is still to make a decision to allow fully vaccinated and Covid-19 negative international arrivals entry to Bangkok, thus putting the capital’s reopening on hold until at least early November. However, mandatory quarantine will remain in place for visitors or returnees to the city, according to the CCSA.
A proposal to reopen Bangkok from 15th October, by the Tourism and Sports Ministry, has been submitted to a CCSA subcommittee, but any decision is pending discussions with the Ministry of Public Health and other relevant agencies, said CCSA Assistant Spokesperson Apisamai Srirangsan.
“This does not mean that we can’t proceed with the plans amid ongoing infections, but the public health system must be ready first, similar to the process for the ‘Phuket Sandbox’, for which the operations have been excellent. Doing a ‘sandbox’ scheme anywhere must be done carefully,” said Dr. Apisamai, who pointed to the large size and diversity of the capital.
Dr. Apisamai’s remarks come amid confusion over Bangkok’s reopening schedule, as Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn declared that Bangkok will reopen in a month. Bangkok’s Governor, Aswin Kwanmuang, said however, that City Hall will decide the date of reopening. On Wednesday 22nd September, the government announced that it has pushed back plans to re-open Bangkok and some other major cities to foreign arrivals until November, due to vaccination rates falling short of targets.
The 14-day quarantine requirement at “Alternative Quarantine” hotels in Bangkok will remain unchanged, she said.
Reopening On Hold – Other Areas
Currently, only the provinces of Phuket, Surat Thani, Krabi and Phang-nga are welcoming overseas arrivals without the 14-day quarantine requirement. Chiang Mai, Chon Buri (Pattaya), Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin) and Phetchaburi are set to reopen on 1st October, pending CCSA’s approval.
Main image: The Pratunam area of Bangkok Image courtesy Jonny Belvedere, Pixabay.
Source: Thai PBS World.