Thailand prepares for reopening plans hinh anh 1Tourists at the international airport in Phuket, Thailand. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)Bangkok, Chon Buri, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chiang Mai will begin implementing their tourism reopening plans on October 1 as planned, Thai Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has confirmed.

The 21 other provinces will follow suit on October 15, he said.

The official admitted the high number of new COVID-19 infections is a major hindrance, but the ministry is fully prepared for the reopening.

The country’s ministries of education and public health have agreed that schools in provinces heavily hit by COVID-19 can resume their on-site education when at least 85 percent of their staff and students are vaccinated against the disease and all of them undergo regular antigen tests.

Thailand recorded 13,798 COVID-19 cases on September 15, along with 144 deaths, raising the respective figures to over 1.42 million and 14,775.

Meanwhile, Laos logged 223 new infections in the past 24 hours, announced the Lao Ministry of Health on September 15.

The number included 158 in the community, the highest daily count since COVID-19 broke out in the country.

The national tally hit 17,905 cases, with 16 fatalities.

Various Lao localities are experiencing complex developments of COVID-19, particularly Vientiane, Khammouane and Savannakhet. Of note, most patients are infected with the Delta variant.

The Lao Health Ministry has called on people to refrain from making crowds at events to curb the risks of infection, as well as comply with preventive measures./.