Thailand Relaxes Restrictions As Tourists Head Back

As the first tourists arrive in Thailand under quarantine-free arrangements, the country has also relaxed many more restrictions especially in areas targetted at early tourists.

From 1st November nearly all businesses and activities in the 4 Blue Zone provinces will be able to resume “New Normal” operations.

“Prime Minister, General Prayut Chan-o-cha signed the announcement published in the Royal Thai Government Gazette on 30 October, 2021, that adjusted colour-zoning for different provinces and further relaxed COVID-19 controls up and down the country, particularly in the 4 ‘Blue Zone’ provinces – Bangkok, Krabi, Phang-Nga, and Phuket.”

Tourism Authority of Thailand

These include all shopping venues, convenience stores, markets, cinemas and theatres, sports venues, hair salons and barbershops, massage and spa shops, beauty and aesthetic clinics, and tattoo shops.

Restaurants and eateries can also resume normal opening hours, and be allowed to serve dine-in customers alcoholic beverages. Meetings, events, and fairs can be also held normally with no limitation on the number of attendees.

The night-time curfew in Bangkok has also been lifted.

However, all types of entertainment venues, including pubs, bars, and karaoke shops nationwide are to remain closed. But the announcement stated that these businesses may undertake preparation to be ready for reopening.

it is unlikley that tourist numbers will start to recover in any significant numbers until entertainment venue restrictions are also lifted. It had been reported that this could happen on 1st December but the language in the latest announcement suggests that this could now take place at an earlier date.

Pilot Tourist Destinations or blue zone provinces

Central Region: Bangkok; and Southern Region: Krabi, Phang-Nga, and Phuket, as well as the designated areas in 13 other provinces.

Similar relaxed measures for the Blue Zone provinces have also been extended to the 5 yellow zone provinces, also newly added from 1st November with the exception for events and activities that must be organised with the number of attendees capped at below 1,000.

Yellow Zones

Northern Region: Nan; and Northeastern Region: Bueng Kan, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, and Sakhon Nakhon.

Provinces in the red and orange zones have also seen the COVID-19 restrictions being relaxed further, with malls, markets, convenience stores, and cinemas being allowed to resume normal hours.

Red Zones

Central Region: Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, Lop Buri, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ratchaburi, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Saraburi, and Suphan Buri; Eastern Region: Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Prachin Buri, Rayong, Sa Kaeo, and Trat; Northern Region: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, Phitsanulok, and Phetchabun; Northeastern Region: Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, and Udon Thani; and Southern Region: Chumphon, Phatthalung, Ranong, Satun, Surat Thani, and Trang.

Restaurants and eateries in the orange zone can resume normal hours while in the red and dark-red zones must closed at 23.00 Hrs. and 22.00 Hrs., respectively. Sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages remain prohibited in the orange, red and dark-red zones.

Orange Zones

Central Region: Chai Nat and Sing Buri; Northern Region: Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Phayao, Phrae, Sukhothai, Uthai Thani, and Uttaradit; Northeastern Region: Amnat Charoen, Buri Ram, Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Maha Sarakham, Si Sa Ket, Surin, Loei, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Nong Khai, Roi Et, and Yasothon.

Businesses and activities in the 7-remaining dark-red zone provinces can resume normal hours but no later than 22.00 Hrs., as the night-time curfew (from 23.00 – 03.00 Hrs.) remains in place for another 15 days or until 15 November.

Dark Red Zones

Eastern Region: Chanthaburi; Northern Region: Tak, and Southern Region: Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala.

Meetings and events in the red and dark-red zones can be organised for less than 500 attendees. Meanwhile, provinces in the orange zone can arrange more engaging activities; such as, sports tournaments, food fairs, and the likes for no more than 1,000 attendees.

Measures for the designated blue zone areas in 13 other provinces will be according to the provincial colour-zoning.

Source: Tourism Authority of Thailand

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