A spokesperson for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) confirmed this morning, March 10th, 2021, that the Thai Government had their eyes set on October to “fully open the country” but many factors would be in play for this decision.
Dr. Apisamai Srirangsan, the assistant spokesperson of the CCSA, made the announcement at a press conference, although was careful to state this was a goal and not a set decision or promise.
The country is planning to implement reduced quarantine and more “freedom of quarantine” with area quarantine programs first, hopefully starting from April, according to Apisamai. We have covered this previously at The Pattaya News here. However, the decision will need approval from several meetings scheduled for next week both on Monday, March 15th with the CCSA, Tuesday, March 16th with the Thai Cabinet, and on Friday, March 19th.
This easing will be considered Phase 2 and a complete re-opening, potentially (but not promised) with no quarantine would be in Phase 3, hopefully starting in October of this year.
Dr. Apisamai stated that the government would ensure the decision would be announced officially well in advance, knowing that hotels, airlines, and the tourist industry would need time to prepare if the country would indeed re-open in October.
She stated that it was not clear if it would be only for vaccinated tourists and would depend drastically on the situation with Covid-19 around the world, the level of vaccinations taking place in various countries, and the safety standards being implemented by airlines. She did caution that a “re-opening” could exclude certain countries and places based on the prevalence of Covid-19 or if they were considered “high-risk.” Africa, for instance, will not be included in a reduced quarantine program due to concerns about variants and overall testing, the CCSA stated earlier this week.
Although at this time the date is just a “goal”, with many countries vaccinating quickly, especially those who are major tourist suppliers to Thailand like India and the UK, the landscape could see a wider opening by October, in time for Thailand’s “high season.”