Thailand to run quarantine areas for foreign tourists next month hinh anh 1Tourists wear face masks at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok in August 2020 (Photo: AFP/VNA) 
Bangkok (VNA) – The Thai government on March 4 unveiled its “area quarantine” plan to open Thailand to foreign tourists from next month.

Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn revealed details of the plan after meeting with the Ministry of Public Health and 216 tourism operators.

Area quarantine will be piloted in five provinces popular with foreign tourists – Chiang Mai, Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani (Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan) and Chon Buri (Pattaya). The plan will be operated via 29 travel agencies supervised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Under the plan’s timeline, tourists will quarantine in their rooms for the first three days and then be swab-tested for COVID-19 at their hotels. If they test negative, they will be granted access to the whole hotel or resort until their 14-day quarantine ends. After 14 days they will be tested again. If no infection is found they will be allowed to travel freely through the quarantine area.

Thailand’s tourism has been hit hard by the pandemic. In 2019, the country hosted 39.9 million visitors who spent about 1.9 trillion baht (63 billion USD), or 11.3 percent of its GDP.

In 2020, the number of tourists to Thailand dropped to 6.7 million. The figure is projected to decrease further to 5 million in 2021, resulting in the spending of just 260 billion baht./.