Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has unveiled a three-stage roadmap to reopen a total of six major tourist provinces – Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Surat Thani (Ko Samui), Phang Nga and Chon Buri (Pattaya) – to vaccinated foreign tourists.
The announcement of the roadmap comes after Royal Thai Government’s latest decision – Thailand has reduced quarantine for international arrivals which includes the reduction of quarantine from 14 days to seven days for vaccinated international arrivals involving the 11 groups of people currently permitted to enter the country.
Reopening to take place in stages
The TAT’s reopening roadmap will take place in stages in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters of this year, specifically for vaccinated foreign tourists arriving in the 6 aforementioned provinces.
Stage One will take place in the 2nd quarter from April to June. Foreign tourists who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to undergo quarantine in government-approved hotels or other facilities under a ‘0+7 nights + designated routes’ model. After completing the first seven nights, they will be allowed to visit other destinations in Thailand.
What is ‘0+7 nights + designated routes’ model?
This model indicates that vaccinated foreign tourists will be allowed to indulge in leisure activities within the premises of their hotels or other accommodation establishments during their quarantine period. Additionally, the tourists will also be allowed to engage in outside travel activities within designated areas in their selected destination of arrival.
Stage Two will take place in the 3rd quarter from July to September. Phuket will be the very 1st destination to lift quarantine requirements for vaccinated foreign tourists under the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ programme. However, there’s a catch.
Tourists will be restricted to travel activities within designated areas in Phuket for seven days following which they will be allowed to visit other Thai destinations.
Stage Three will take place in the 4th quarter from October to December. In this stage, all the other 5 destinations other than Phuket namely Krabi, Phang Nga, Surat Thani (Ko Samui), Chon Buri (Pattaya), and Chiang Mai will lift quarantine requirements for vaccinated foreign tourists. Following the footsteps of Phuket, tourists will be restricted to travel activities within designated areas in these destinations for seven days before they are allowed to visit other Thai destinations.
Vaccinated foreign tourists in all stages upon arrival will be required to undergo a COVID-19 screening, including RT-PCR tests, and download the specified track and trace application.
In addition to this, other travel documents required for entry into Thailand include a valid visa or re-entry permit, a Certificate of Entry (COE) issued by the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate; a COVID-19 health insurance policy with a minimum coverage of US$100,000; confirmation of Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel booking, and a medical certificate with an RT-PCR test result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected, issued no more than 72 hours before departure.
International tourists arriving into Thailand must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with a vaccine, approved, and registered with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) or approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO), no less than 14 days before the travelling date. They must also be from countries with no mutated strain of SAR-CoV-2 virus as announced and constantly updated by the MoPH.
More and more countries are reopening
Many countries are reopening to International tourists as vaccinations are in full swing across the globe. Seychelles reopened on 25th March to vaccinated international tourists while Iceland reopened to tourists on 18th March. Greece is planning to welcome international tourists back on 14th May.
Airlines across the globe are ramping up services to these reopened destinations. As soon as the Government of Seychelles announced the reopening of its borders, Middle Eastern carriers – Qatar Airways and Emirates increased the frequency of flights to the island nation.
Qatar Airways has also announced resumption of its seasonal service to Mykonos in Greece. Delta Airlines also announced resumption of flights to Reykjavik in Iceland.
Countries like Seychelles, Thailand and Greece heavily depend on tourism for income and opening of the borders to international tourists is a major boost in that sense.
What do you think of countries reopening their borders to international tourists? Let me know in the comments section below.