Thailand considers opening up to vaccinated travellers this summer

Cathy Adams
·2-min read
Thailand could open its doors this summer (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Thailand could open its doors this summer (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Thailand is considering opening up to vaccinated tourists this summer.

The Southeast Asian nation, which is highly dependent on tourism, has signalled that it is thinking about axing the two-week quarantine requirement for travellers that have been vaccinated.

Today, the tourism minister announced that Thailand will open five provinces for international tourists: the island of Phuket; Surat Thani (which includes the islands of Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Ko Tao); capital Bangkok; Chiang Mai; and Chonburi.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha has asked his government to look into vaccine certificates, reports Bloomberg, which could open up the country to inoculated visitors as early as 1 July.

In 2019, almost 40 million international tourists travelled to Thailand.

Currently, all visitors to Thailand have to quarantine for two weeks at a government facility.

Earlier this week, leading hospitality businesses across Thailand launched a campaign to reopen the borders to international tourism from July.

The campaign, #OpenThailandSafely, is supported by more than 15 major hospitality companies across the country. It is petitioning the Thai government to consider the merits of letting in travellers from countries such as the UK and the US, whose vaccination programmes are well underway.

By 1 July, the majority of travellers in Thailand’s “source markets” will be vaccinated, and it will allow Thai medical authorities to vaccinate its elderly and frontline health workers, the campaign argues.

Thailand joins a host of countries mulling granting quarantine-free access to vaccinated travellers this summer, including Greece and Spain.

Several destinations are already open to vaccinated travellers with no need for them to self-isolate; Cyprus has now set a hard date for the return of vaccinated British visitors, minus testing and quarantine restrictions: 1 May. The Seychelles has gone one step further and stated that unvaccinated will be welcome, quarantine-free, from 25 March, provided they present a negative Covid test.

All international leisure travel is currently outlawed in the UK under lockdown restrictions, but is slated to restart from 17 May at the earliest.

The Independent has contacted Tourism Thailand for more information.

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