The Thai authorities have announced plans to end the mandatory quarantine for foreign tourists and Thai citizens who will arrive in the Kingdom from October 2021. However, we are talking about those tourists and Thais who have previously completed a full course of vaccination and will be able to document this fact. The second condition for lifting the quarantine is the mass vaccination of local residents in 10 provinces of Thailand, which are planned to be opened to tourists. We are talking about such popular holiday destinations as Pattaya, Surat Thani (Ko Samui), Krabi (Ao Nang and the islands), Phang Nga, Trat (Ko Chang) and Bangkok.
Despite the fact that the news is clearly positive for all those who have long missed Thailand and dream of returning to this country for a vacation or long stay, it should be understood that such plans may not come true. Firstly, the Thai authorities had previously announced a decrease in quarantine to 7 days, but after a few days they canceled this decision. Secondly, the rate of vaccination in Thailand is currently not overwhelming and only a few million people received the first dose of the vaccine, while the kingdom is home to almost 70 million people. It should be noted that until recent months in Thailand there was a very favorable situation with Covid-19 and only in April the country was covered by a new wave of the epidemic.
According to the plan of the authorities in the provinces open for tourism, about 70% of local residents should be vaccinated. The mass vaccination is planned from July 2021, when a large shipment of vaccines from Western manufacturers will arrive in Thailand and the mass production of some vaccines will begin in Thailand. AstraZeneca, Sinovac and Johnson & Johnson are currently approved for use in the Kingdom of Thailand. Negotiations are underway to supply Thailand with Sputnik-V and Pfizer vaccines. Another positive factor for the abolition of mandatory quarantine will be a successful experiment on the island of Phuket, which is going to open to tourists from July 2021.
Currently, all arriving in the country are required to undergo a mandatory 2-week quarantine in special hotels, the cost of which is very high even for wealthy foreigners. In addition, even if the test results for Covid-19 are negative, those arriving in the country must stay in the hotel room for at least 1 week and only after 1 week they are allowed to leave the room and stay on the territory of the hotel, subject to all safety measures and social distancing. All this does not contribute to the popularity of holidays in Thailand, and after the introduction of such a rule in 2020, only a few thousand people agreed to come to Thailand with such restrictions. The rest could only remember Thailand and watch live webcams of Ko Samui or other resorts.
The Thai authorities hope that the opening of the country to tourists in October 2021 will revive the tourism industry in the Kingdom, which is in deep crisis after the outbreak of the pandemic and the closure of borders. At the same time, everyone understands that in the coming years, even with positive trends, it will be very difficult to achieve the indicators of 2019. It was a record-breaking year for Thailand, with nearly 40 million tourists visiting the country and they spended over $ 61 billion in the country. If the planned activities are successfully implemented, about 3.5 million tourists will be able to visit Thailand by the end of 2021. Do you believe that quarantine will be canceled this year?
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