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Tourism minister expects all border checkpoints with M’sia to reopen by May 1


Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said on Tuesday he wanted all border checkpoints between Thailand and Malaysia to reopen from May 1.

“With Hat Yai Airport being approved to accept foreign tourists from next month, the ministry will ask the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration to open all land checkpoints in Songkhla, starting from the Sadao checkpoint,” he said. “Then, we plan to gradually open other checkpoints in Narathiwat, Yala and Satun that connect Malaysia in a bid to promote tourism in the Southern provinces. We expect all Thai-Malaysian checkpoints to reopen by May 1.”

Phiphat said the Tourism Ministry would coordinate with the Foreign Affairs Ministry to discuss with Malaysian authorities measures to be implemented at border checkpoints to prevent Covid-19 spreading across the border.

“Thailand will continue to use the Test & Go system, while we have to see what measures Malaysia will use. We are confident the Malaysian government will agree with the plan to reopen borders, which would benefit both countries,” he said.

“The Test & Go system that we have been using since November last year can detect 85 per cent of infections from the first day tourists enter Thailand,” said Phiphat.

“If anyone infected somehow slips through the first test, he/she will be found during the second test while still in a designated area. Therefore, Songkhla residents can rest assured that opening all borders will not worsen the situation in the province.”

Phiphat added that the Tourism and Sports Ministry has been organising tourism promotion campaigns in Songkhla since the start of this year and would continue to do so until the year-end to attract both domestic and foreign tourists to Songkhla and other southern provinces.

Published : March 23, 2022

By : The Star