Prime Minister Seeks All Parties’ Cooperation for Thailand Reopening

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has urged companies and Thais to strictly adhere to disease control measures to ensure Thailand’s Monday reopening success.

After chairing a Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)’s meeting on Friday, General Prayut said authorities needed all parties’ cooperation to execute the highly-anticipated reopening plan. He also asked protesters to protect the national image and avoid any action that could discourage international visitors.

“The government has prepared many appropriate measures. Everyone must follow them to the fullest extent and avoid the risk of transmission of Covid-19,” he said.

Moreover, the prime minister explained that the mandatory quarantine, which would be conditionally lifted for fully vaccinated travelers from 46 countries arriving by air, would remain for arrivals by land and water.

Authorities should be serious about regulating foreigners’ entry through other means and do everything possible to control illegal immigration, he said, adding that Thailand would ask neighboring countries for cooperation.

Starting Monday, Thai officials would gradually reopen checkpoints for border trade, but buyers and sellers should not meet in person. Instead, contactless areas for products’ delivery would be set up.

Meanwhile, health officials have placed orders to buy antiviral drugs such as molnupiravir and other medicines, including favipiravir, for quick initial treatment of Covid-19 patients.

General Prayut assured that the government would prevent an excessive foreign tourists influx and spoke about the Sandbox reopening model’s effectiveness. He added that many other countries had adopted the scheme since it was introduced in Phuket in July.

The prime minister also said that he had announced the country’s reopening in advance to make Thailand a top destination for foreign travelers during peak season.

“The most important thing for the government is to let people summarize their livelihoods and for supply chains of raw materials to function along with the country’s reopening,” he went on.

According to General Prayut, Thailand was among the top countries to provide the best care to people during the pandemic-induced health crisis, behind only a few wealthy nations.