Residents Think Thailand Is Not Ready to Reopen, Poll Says

According to an opinion poll by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University or Suan Dusit Poll, most of Thailand’s residents believe that the country is not ready to reopen to international tourists.

The online survey, conducted from October 11 to 14, evaluated 1,329 people’s opinions on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s announcement to reopen the nation’s borders to foreign travelers on November 1, after being forced to close due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Regarding free-quarantine areas’ opening nationwide, 60.10% said it was not the right time, while the remaining 39.90% backed the government’s decision.

Also, when asked if they agreed with the reopening date the following month, 59,86% of those surveyed said “no,” while 40.14% backed the plan.

People were also asked to share their views on the “necessary conditions” to reopen Thailand through a multi-response survey.

According to the results, 74.78% cited vaccinations for over 70% of Thailand’s population with quality vaccines, 69.04% mentioned the country’s capacity to contain the pandemic, and 68.31% cited services health, hospitals and medical personnel’s availability.

Moreover, 66.03% of those surveyed said that mandatory Covid-19 testing before entering venues was essential, while 65.00% mentioned tourists’ confidence in safety at airports, restaurants, public transport, and other facilities.

Regarding the “unfavorable conditions” for the reopening, 71.60% said that Thailand’s population had not been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, while 70.45% cited the possibility that the virus could spread even more.

People also mentioned that tourists could bring the virus (66.11%), concerns about new Covid-19 variants (61.05%), and lack of clear plans to deal with the virus’ further spread (55.92%).

When asked to choose the reopening plan’s “benefits,” surveyed people mention the economy’s reactivation (77.29%), increased work and opportunities to earn a living for people (74.74%), income by tourism for the country (68.07%), tourism-related businesses’ reactivation (64.17%) and investments and commercial operators’ confidence in investing in Thailand (57.80%).

They also answered questions related to Thailand’s reopening “unfavorable effects,” mentioning increasing Covid-19 cases (83.43%), another lockdown (74.60%), availability of health services affected (59.55%), a surge in illegal border crossings cases (54.85%) and people’s living conditions affected (48.19%).