CCSA to consider reopening Thailand as Covid wave stabilises


Moves to ease restrictions and reopen the country will be considered on Thursday at a meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the CCSA will meet to re-evaluate Thailand’s Omicron outbreak and consider adjusting measures accordingly.

The Public Health Ministry will also ask the CCSA to change Covid control zones in line with the current situation so that restrictions on activities are eased.

The meeting will also discuss measures regarding the closure of the country to foreign tourists, said the spokesman, without elaborating.

Hoteliers and tourism business operators are calling on the government to resume the quarantine-free Test & Go scheme, in which fully vaccinated foreign tourists must stay just one night in a hotel pending test results.

Test & Go was indefinitely suspended on January 7 following the emergence of Omicron and a rise in new cases of Covid-19. Tourism businesses are calling for its return, arguing that Omicron apparently causes milder disease and Thailand has avoided the worst-case scenario of 30,000 cases per day.

On Tuesday, the Public Health Ministry reported 6,397 new Covid-19 cases and 18 fatalities during the previous 24 hours, compared to 6,929 new cases and 13 fatalities a day earlier. Tourism businesses also point to the high level of vaccination as evidence the country can be safely reopened.

As of Tuesday, the government has provided over 110 million (110,663,601) doses of Covid-10 vaccine – 51,831,786 first jabs, 47,676,337 second jabs, 10,507,085 third jabs and 648,393 fourth jabs.

The spokesman said the PM thanked people for helping Thailand avoid the surge in Omicron cases seen in other countries by diligently following restrictions and hygiene rules.