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Songkhla-Malaysia border gate lifts after almost 2 years to unleash economic revival


Gates opened at Thailand’s Sadao-Malaysia border point for the first time in almost two years on Friday, allowing the return of 11 Thai students as well as hope of a tourism revival.

The checkpoint in Songkhla had been shut due to the pandemic, until the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on March 1 lifted the ban on foreign arrivals via land and sea in the pilot border provinces of Nong Khai, Udon Thani, Songkhla and Phuket.

All arrivals via the Sadao checkpoint must register for Thailand Pass, be fully vaccinated with two doses and show a negative RT-PCR test taken in the past 72 hours. They also need to take an RT-PCR test upon arrival and stay one night in an SHA Extra Plus hotel while waiting for the result.

Songkhla Tourism Industry Council’s director said the Sadao reopening would boost economic recovery in the province by bringing back foreign investors and businesspeople. Sitthiphong Sitthiphatprapha said it would also get the border city of Sadao bustling with tourists again.

Malaysia is due to open its side of the checkpoint next month.

Songkhla-Malaysia border gate lifts after almost 2 years to unleash economic revival

“After Malaysia opens the Bukit Kayu Hitam checkpoint on April 1, we estimate that around 20,000 Malaysian tourists per month will enter Songkhla and generate around Bt100 million in revenue for the local economy.”

Sitthiphong also urged the government to replace the Test & Go scheme with the Vaccine Travel Lane (VTL) approach that Malaysia is using to promote travel among neighbouring countries. Thailand is in talks with Malaysia over the VLT scheme.

Songkhla-Malaysia border gate lifts after almost 2 years to unleash economic revival

Published : March 12, 2022

By : THE NATION

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