Thailand aims to reopen whole country by next January hinh anh 1Phuket beach - a famous tourist destination (Photo: Reuters)
Bangkok (VNA) - Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports is aiming to reopen the whole country, without quarantine, by January next year, depending on the level of nationwide herd immunity.

Local media quoted Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn as saying that 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 Chonburi (Pattaya) will go ahead as planned on October 1.

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 programme. As a result, from October 15, there will be 25 provinces which tourists can enter via the “sandbox” programme, as second destinations after spending seven days in Phuket, Samui, Chiang Mai, Chonburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi or Bangkok.

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.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports said only safe places can reopen from November 1, while international travelers will not have to be quarantined after entering the country until January 2022. Then, until January 15, 2022, Thailand will apply a tourist bubble with neighboring countries.

Meanwhile, the CCSA has warned of a new wave of infections next month if people lower their vigilance as restrictions are eased and complacency due to the declining number of new cases.
CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said at a press conference on September 6 after discussing with the Ministry of Health that new COVID-19 cases could reach 30,000 a day next month if people stop following social distancing and other preventative measures.

The Ministry of Health announced on September 6 that the country recorded 13,988 new cases of COVID-19 and 187 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total numbers to 1,294,522 and 13,042 respectively./.