Bangkok Limited Tourism Reopening Planned

The Thai government yesterday announced plans for a limited reopening of Bangkok to foreign arrivals in October.

Main picture Chinatown in Bangkok, Thailand credit VasenkaPhotography on flickr

The reopening schedule in Thailand always suggested a 1st October reopening for Bangkok. However the city was the epi-centre of the latest Covid-19 outbreak and earlier this month it was announced that this would be delayed.

The announcement also confirmed reopening for Chiang Mai, Hua Hin and Pattaya from 1st October.

All international visitors must be fully vaccinated and have tested negative for Covid-19 prior to departure. They would then need to test negative on arrival and undertake up to two further tests.

Bangkok is key to tourism in Thailand with many visitors spending a few days in Bangkok as well as exploring other areas of the country.

Although not yet confirmed it would seem logical that visitors would be able to follow the Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension. This would mean visitors spending their first 7 days in one location before being able to move to another, approved, location for the next 7 days.

The latest announcement from government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchan stated that Bangkok would reopen on 1st October as originally planned but with limitations.

The reopening would be limited to popular tourist areas and not to Bangkok as a whole. Which areas will be included in the scheme was not announced however.

The reopening is dependent on a rapid increase in vaccinations in the city. Currently just 34% of Bangkok residents have been fully vaccinated. Thailand has a target of at least 70% in all areas reopening for tourism.

An immediate concern would be how much freedom tourists will have in Bangkok. The city is well connected with city rail systems which connect many areas of the city and beyond.

Restrictions placed could included the “sealed route” restrictions that would mean tourists would only be allowed to explore on accredited tours or with approved private transport.

Source: Reuters

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