Thailand’s reopening plan to be delayed until Nov.1 hinh anh 1Health workers in Thailand collect COVID-19 swab sample (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Bangkok (VNA) – The reopening plan for Thailand’s five provinces might be delayed by a month to November 1 as their vaccination rate still falls short of 70 percent coverage.

The provinces of Chiang Mai, Chonburi, Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan are scheduled to reopen to fully-vaccinated foreign tourists from October 1 and Bangkok will be the next in line, on October 15.

Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang, however, said the reopening is not possible without 70 percent of the city’s population having received two doses of vaccines alongside higher falls in new infections.

After a meeting with Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) officials on September 22, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn said although the reopening of pilot areas in all five provinces may have to be delayed until November 1, the TAT is not worried.

Many locations under the plan are still waiting for vaccines to be delivered, he said.

Authorities have set a threshold of 70 percent of the local population vaccinated before it is safe to reopen to foreign tourists.

Last week, Bangkok reported that only 37 percent of residents had been fully vaccinated.

Thailand detected 13,256 new COVID-19 cases and 131 related deaths on September 23 morning, raising the national count to over 1.52 million cases, including 15,884 fatalities./.