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Thailand’s tourism minister Mr Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has told a press briefing that Bangkok’s reopening for inoculated tourists will be delayed by two weeks. Above all because most of the city’s residents are still waiting for their second vaccine shots.
Mr Phiphat said the tourism ministry has pledged to open Bangkok to bring at least 1 million international tourists this year.
The revised reopening plan for Bangkok came up after a discussion between Mr Phiphat and Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang. Both were concerned with the readiness of the capitol city. Furthermore because it will be the gateway for inbound tourist.
Mr Phiphat said his ministry and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) have proposed a new plan to open only 21 inner districts. However due to inconveniences to tourists who might have to travel across these districts, the Bangkok governor suggested the city should wait until the entire capitol is ready to take part in the program.
Thailand already has Phuket and Koh Samui open
“The quarantine-free entry via Bangkok will benefit the whole country Mr Phiphat said.Above all because tourists usually visit Bangkok as their first destination before travelling to other destinations in Thailand. With the 7+7 extension plan which will be enabled at the same time, tourists can stay in the capital city for just seven days. Tourists can then choose another 8 provinces in the pilot reopening program as their second choice, Mr Phiphat said.
Besides Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin and Cha-am ready to take tourists, Thailand already has Phuket and Koh Samui as the first two destinations for its sandbox program. Krabi and Phang Nga were also added in the extension program.
Should the Public Health Ministry reduces the quarantine period from 14 days to seven days in the near future, tourists in any sandbox program will be able to travel anywhere in the Kingdom after day seven.
Furthermore, domestic travellers who fly back home must also comply with the same entry regulations as foreigners. Even though they have a Bangkok household, becasue the Certificate of Entry still requires them to show SHA Plus hotel bookings in advance.
International tourists by mid October
Mr Phiphat said that his ministry will propose the reopening of five areas, including Bangkok, to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s subcommittee and also the Centre for Economic Situation Administration, which was postponed from this Friday next week.
The standard operating procedures of all areas, will be the same. They should be finalised before the end of this month to start receiving tourists by October as planned Mr Phiphat said.
“From mid-October, we will not only open for international tourists, but the domestic stimulus campaigns which aim to spur local spending will be rolled out at the same time,” he said.
The plan is in line with a nationwide travel relaxation, which will be imposed from Oct 15 onwards.