Thai-Malaysia Border Reopening in March To Give Tourism Boost

Thai authorities plan to reopen the country’s border with Malaysia in March, expecting to fuel a recovery in tourism and stimulate the economy in the deep south’s provinces.

According to deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and the tourism and sports emergency operations center to define measures to control the Covid-19 pandemic before reopening border checkpoints at Yala, Songkhla, Satun, and Narathiwat.

The Thai government announced that a travel bubble with Malaysia would be opened soon, allowing tourists from the neighboring nation to travel to the kingdom through the quarantine-free Test & Go scheme. However, all visitors must undergo two RT-PCR tests upon arrival and obtain negative results to be allowed to travel to other local destinations.

Ms. Rachada said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was confident that Thailand would remain one of the world’s top tourist destinations despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The government will support efforts to revitalize tourism, with an emphasis on public health and safety,” Ms. Rachada added.

The Deputy Inspector-General for Public Health Zone 12, Dr. Suthep Phetmak, stated that the situation in Malaysia and Thailand was similar.

Local authorities reported around 20,000 Covid-19 infections on February 12. Therefore, the public health agency expects that reopening the Thai-Malaysia border poses a low risk.

Meanwhile, government agencies have begun to prepare migration processes, tests and hotels with the SHA+ standard to welcome international travelers. Businesses with Covid Free Environment, including tourism sites, restaurants, department stores, and public transportation, should also be prepared before reopening, Ms. Rachada stated.