It has been too long since Thailand last saw hordes of tourists coming in to bask themselves in beautiful sunlight. As the lockdown is already lifted, rendering traveling within the country possible for those living in Thailand, it seems like Thailand will see more influx of travelers outside the country this October.
It was reported that, according to the latest cabinet meeting on Aug 25, Thailand is considering opening the border for the travelers. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha stated during the press briefing that tourism was the prime source of revenue for Thailand, and the pandemic early this year has strongly affected the industry around the country.
“We have to be well prepared for the influx of international tourists. Rules need to be compromised, and we have to think about what preventive measures should be. Also, people need to be calm,” said the prime minister. He also asserted that this is high time for tourism to make a comeback in the country. “If we don’t do this, things will get worse. A lot of businesses have to shut down, while many people also go unemployed.”
General Prayuth firmly believes that the government has been successful in imposing screening and preventive measures for COVID-19, with all cases being followed up and health facilities fully provided.
To achieve this, the government came up with the ‘Safe and Sealed’ plan to attract more international visitors. The plan will be first introduced in six regions where tourists can initially practice a 14-day quarantine in restricted areas.
After finishing the quarantine and going through the intense COVID-19 test, visitors—if tested negative—can continue their journey around the area beyond the accommodation. Tourists can travel in tour groups and as an individual, but “they have to abide by strict screening rules,” said Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, according to Bangkok Post.
The minister also mentioned that there would a designated “sealed zone” in which hotels and resorts assigned for the quarantine are grouped together, allowing guests to enjoy activities while assuring the locals’ safety.
Areas under the consideration for the ‘Safe and Sealed’ plan are the three Andaman Sea provinces: Phuket, Krabi, and Phang Nga.
The situation regarding the outbreak of coronavirus is now very secure, with only one new case found in August. The border has been closed since March, but the entry is strictly limited to non-Thai individuals with a valid work permit and foreign diplomats.
Find out more about the situation here.