International travel and COVID-19: Thailand plans to reopen popular tourist destinations to vaccinated in October

Government officials in Thailand have announced the country plans to reopen Bangkok and other key destinations to foreign tourists in October.

According to Reuters.com, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchan said Bangkok, Hua Hin, Pattaya and Chiang Mai would welcome vaccinated travellers under a new program that requires coronavirus testing and visitors meeting certain criteria.

As part of an effort to revive Thailand's battered travel industry, Tourism Authority governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the country would begin reopening areas popular with visitors as the government believes the number of new COVID-19 infections may have peaked.

The government's reopening plans are already being prepared on the islands of Samui and Phuket, where about 70 per cent of the local population were required to be fully vaccinated.

Mandatory vaccinations could be an issue in Bangkok, though, as only 34 per cent of residents are fully inoculated, while just 15 per cent of people across the country have received the two required doses.

Supasorn said Thailand is targeting 1 million visitors this year.

In June, government officials revealed a plan to allow quarantine-free entry to fully vaccinated travellers, but a surge of confirmed COVID-19 cases this summer caused hesitation from local and federal authorities.

The following month, Bangkok and nine other provinces in Thailand announced a series of tighter COVID-19-related restrictions, including limiting the number of travellers arriving in the islands, reducing the size of gatherings and more.

TNS

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