Government Confirms Imminent Easing of Covid-19 Restrictions

The Thai government confirmed that the quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated air travelers from five countries would be lifted as more destinations reopen to foreign tourists.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, a spokesman for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said quarantine-free entry would be allowed for fully vaccinated visitors from low-Covid-19-risk countries, comprising the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, China and Germany, from November 1 to December 31.

However, travelers must undergo an RT-PCR test before arriving.

Meanwhile, authorities plan to expand the opened destinations list to 17 economically important provinces, including Bangkok, Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin district), Samut Prakan (Suvarnabhumi airport only), and all of Krabi and Phangnga.

Currently, international tourists can visit four Thai places: Phuket and parts of Surat Thani, Phangnga and Krabi provinces.

Later, from December 1, authorities expect to reopen another 16 provinces, including Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Phrae, and Sukhothai.

But the CCSA’s operations committee has yet to finalize the list of new destinations it plans to reopen, Dr. Taweesilp added.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who chaired the Center Covid-19 Situation Administration’s meeting at Government House on Thursday, confirmed that Thailand was ready to reopen its borders in two weeks.

He described the move as “a small start for people to resume earning a living.”

In another development, the CCSA announced that the number of provinces classified as “dark-red with maximum and strict control” would be reduced from 29 to 23, adding that the curfew would be shortened and more businesses would be authorized to resume operations.

Moreover, the number of red provinces with maximum control fell from 37 to 30 while orange zones would increase from 11 to 24.

According to Dr. Taweesilp, the dark-red provinces would be Bangkok, Chachoengsao, Tak, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Kanchanaburi, Chanthaburi, Chon Buri, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Prachin Buri, Yala, Rayong, Pattani, Ayutthaya, Ratchaburi, Songkhla, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram and Saraburi.

Such provinces will remain under a nighttime curfew for at least two weeks but from 11:00 p.m. to 03:00 a.m. Also, game arcades in their shopping centers must remain closed.

In the dark red, red and orange zones, convenience stores, entertainment zones and markets will be open until 10:00 p.m.

Shopping centers (with game rooms only allowed to open in orange or red zones) cinemas, theaters, restaurants, stadiums and public parks can also open until 10:00 p.m.

Gatherings can be held in all provinces, and their limits have been raised to 50 in dark-red areas, 100 in red zones, and 200 in orange areas.