The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has confirmed Thailand’s readiness to reopen to vaccinated foreign tourists without quarantine requirements, starting with the “Phuket Sandbox” model from 1st July, Surat Thani – Samui Plus from 15th July, followed by other destinations, including Krabi, Phang Nga, Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Buri Ram in the following months.
The plan, approved by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) during today’s meeting, will be submitted for final approval from the Cabinet.
Minister of Tourism and Sports H.E. Mr Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said, “Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday has set a goal to reopen Thailand to fully vaccinated foreign visitors without quarantine within the next 120 days.
“This has given hope to everyone in the Thai tourism industry. I believe that the Prime Minister has set such a goal in his confidence that the national COVID-19 vaccination programme would have given 50 million people their first shot by early October,” he said.
“Thailand’s plan to reopen within 120 days meant that if Bangkok or any of the 76 provinces are ready to reopen from October, provided that the local population are inoculated, and the infection rate is at no more than 20-30 cases daily. The key is that the Thai people must be safe and that the public health guidelines must be adhered to.”
TAT Governor Mr Yuthasak Supasorn said, “Under the latest target set by the Thai Prime Minister to reopen Thailand within the next 120 days, TAT has been instructed by the Ministry of Tourism and Sport to adjust our strategy with the aim to reopen pilot destinations under the ‘island and sealed approach’ within the third quarter, leading to the reopening of more destinations from October.”
The ‘Island Approach’ will begin with the Phuket Sandbox model from 1st July, followed by the Samui Plus (Surat Thani) for Samui-Phangan-Tao Sealed Routes from 15th July.
The approach will continue in August with an ‘Extension’ concept to be introduced to a visit to Phuket, linking with ‘Krabi Even More Amazing’ (Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai and Ko Railay) or ‘Phang Nga Prompt’ (Khao Lak and Ko Yao).
From September, the ‘Sealed Approach’ will be launched for specific areas and routes in ‘Charming Chiang Mai’ (Mueang, Mae Rim, Mae Tang and Doi Tao Districts), Chon Buri: Neo Pattaya (Pattaya City and Bang Lamung and Sattahip Districts), and Buri Ram (Mueang District and the Chang Arena).
“For Buri Ram specifically, 70% of the local population must be inoculated in preparations for the 2021 Thailand MotoGP at the Chang International Circuit on 8th-10th October,” Mr. Supasorn said.
Then from October or within the fourth quarter, Bangkok, Cha-Am and Hua Hin, as well as any other Thai destinations that are ready, will be reopened to vaccinated foreign tourists without quarantine.
TAT is also considering the reopening of other destinations with nearby tourist islands, including Pattaya (Ko Lan) and the provinces in the Eastern Economic Corridor (Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong).