Bangkok among 5 provinces in phase 2 of tourism reopening plan
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is going ahead with the phase 2 of reopening selected tourist areas in five provinces to foreign visitors from October 1, Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn said on Friday.
Thailand has piloted the reopening of tourist provinces under the tourism "sandbox" scheme since July 1 in Phuket, followed by the “Samui Plus Model” on July 15 that links to the “7+7 Phuket Extension” scheme. Under the scheme, vaccinated visitors of the sandbox programme, who stayed in Phuket for seven days and test negative for Covid-19, can travel to seven tourist attractions in Surat Thani, Krabi and Phang Nga provinces. After the tourists stay in these provinces for 14 days and test negative, they can then travel to other provinces of Thailand.
“The reopening of Phuket and nearby provinces has been successful so far, while the planned reopening of Buri Ram has been put on hold following the postponement of the Moto GP tournament to 2022,” said Pipat.
“In the second phase of the reopening, five more provinces -- Bangkok, Chiang Mai (Muang, Mae Rim and Doi Tao districts), Prachuap Khiri Khan (only Hua Hin), Phetchaburi (only Cha-Am) and Chonburi (Pattaya, Banglamung and Sattahip districts), will join the scheme.”
Pipat added that the third phase will start on October 15 and cover 22 provinces, namely Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Phrae, Nan, Lamphun, Sukhothai, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Ubon Ratchathani, Loei, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Ratchaburi, Kanchanaburi, Ranong, Trang, Satun, Songkhla, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Ayutthaya.
“The fourth phase, which is expected to start from January 2022, will focus on extending the travel bubble scheme in border provinces to facilitate cross-border travel with neighbouring countries such as Surin, Sa Kaew, Trat, Chiang Rai, Ranong, Nakhon Phanom, Nong Khai, Mukdahan, Yala, Narathiwat, Songkhla and Satun,” said Pipat.
“The reopening of a province must be approved by the provincial public health office, which will consider the areas’ readiness based on Covid-19 situation, vaccination rate of local population at over 70 per cent and employed disease control measures," the minister added.