Thailand Outlines Plan To Restart Tourism (Update)

Filed Under: Travel

Update: At the end of March Thailand outlined its most concrete plan yet to reopen to tourists, but this is now likely being delayed. Thailand is currently seeing a spike in coronavirus cases, and on top of that distribution of vaccines to those in Phuket has been delayed, which is also a crucial part of this plan.

The country’s leaders will meet next week to decide if Phuket’s reopening can move forward, though as I’ve said all along, I wouldn’t count on this timeline sticking. You can find the original post from March 31 below.


Thailand has just revealed its plans to reboot tourism. I wouldn’t take it as a sure bet that this plan will stick, but it’s as close to a sure bet as we’ve seen from the country. Thailand at least deserves credit for constantly providing updates on tourism reboots under consideration, even if the government has presented some pretty cockamamie plans.

Thailand’s plan to progressively open to visitors

This week Thailand’s cabinet has approved plans to reopen the country to foreign tourists, but in a gradual way. The current plan is as follows:

  • As of April 1, 2021, the quarantine for visitors will be cut from 14 days to 10 days for all arrivals, with the exception of visitors from some African countries
  • As “early as next month,” Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi, Pattaya, Phang Na, and Phuket, will reopen to fully vaccinated tourists, though a seven day quarantine will still be required for those visitors
  • As of July 1, 2021, vaccinated tourists will be able to travel to Phuket with no quarantine requirement
  • If this proves successful, as of October 1, 2021, the quarantine requirement will be scrapped for vaccinated tourists in Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi, Pattaya, Phang Na, and Phuket
  • As of some point in 2022, Thailand plans to lift all quarantine requirements for foreign visitors

Phuket will be the first Thai destination to open to vaccinated tourists

Thailand rushing to vaccinate those in Phuket

As you can see, Thailand plans to make Phuket the first place to open to vaccinated travelers. Why is this popular destination being singled out? The Thai government is focusing vaccination efforts on Phuket, with the hope to vaccinate 70% of Phuket’s population before July.

Phuket’s governor has this week stated that he hopes to vaccinate as many as 50,000 people with the first dose within seven days of vaccines arriving on the island.

Thailand is prioritizing vaccinations in Phuket

My take on Thailand’s reopening plan

I have a couple of conflicting thoughts on Thailand’s plan to reopen to tourists.

On the one hand, I commend Thailand for its constant public updates about its tourism plan, even if things aren’t set in stone. At least we know where Thailand stands on tourism, unlike some other countries, like Australia and New Zealand (and of course it’s their prerogative not to prioritize a plan to restart tourism).

On the other hand, I can’t help but scratch my head a bit here. All the data I’ve seen suggests that asymptomatic spread among the fully vaccinated is extremely rare. Admittedly we’re learning as we go and this is based on studies over a fairly short period, but that’s still the current thinking, best I can tell.

With that in mind, this plan seems super restrictive to me:

  • For the next few months, Thailand will still require vaccinated tourists to quarantine for a week
  • Thailand will only open up select places to vaccinated visitors as of October, over six months from now, and that doesn’t even include a plan to allow vaccinated travelers to visit Bangkok
  • It won’t be until some point in 2022 that Thailand opens on a more widespread basis

Obviously there’s always some risk to this kind of stuff, but Thailand is also heavily reliant on tourism, and that has a huge impact on peoples’ lives and wellbeing. It’s one thing if Thailand wouldn’t settle for anything but zero cases, but that’s not quite the case in Thailand.

Of course I respect Thailand’s decision here, but personally I have no interest in planning a trip to Thailand until the country is more or less fully open to vaccinated tourists. This plan is simply too restrictive, not to mention it’s presumably subject to change, so it’s just not worth the gamble given how often plans change.

This plan is too restrictive for me to consider a visit to Thailand

Bottom line

Thailand’s government has approved a reopening plan. With this, as of July 1, vaccinated travelers will be allowed to visit Phuket quarantine-free, and as of October 1, vaccinated travelers will be allowed in select other destinations as well. However, the country doesn’t plan to open on a more widespread basis until 2022.

What do you make of Thailand’s tourism reopening plan? What would it take for you to visit?

(Tip of the hat to Drew)

Comments
  1. I personally know two people who are fully vaccinated and contracted COVID after the fact, so I can understand easing into things. With that said, the full 7+ days quarantine is overkill. I don’t understand who would want to vacation in a place where you can’t leave your room for multiple days.

  2. It’s far easier to ease up on a super restrictive plan rather than the other way around. They will probably go faster as they get more evidence and experience.

  3. Would be interesting to see how they handle those arriving to BKK with an overnight stay at an airport hotel to continue to Phuket the following day. Will that be allowed? No one knows at this point.

  4. Is it known weather one will have to first land in Phuket, or transfer in Bangkok will be possible without quarantine? as most European airlines don’t fly directly to Phuket.

  5. Thailand is definitely on my list of places to see before I die, but for me to go there (or pretty much any foreign country) it would take them admitting tourists with ONLY proof of vaccination – no quarantine, no test, nothing. If I have to do anything other than show proof I’ve been vaccinated, I’m probably not going.

  6. While Phuket is an island and tourists’ movements may be traceable and arrivals/departures may be contained to the island, this will become much more challenging around a city in the interior like Chiang Mai, or a town like Pattaya without its own airport. How is this going to work? Would tourists fly to Bangkok (which would not be open to tourists yet?) and then get chaperones on buses straight to Pattaya? Would they fly into Chiang Mai and security forces would control every road in and out of the city? Would tracing apps be the solution – but a tourist may just leave the phone in the accommodation for a few days and venture outside the restricted area? The solution (you are so right, Ben!) has to be an opening to vaccinated travelers without restrictions in light of the mounting evidence that infectiousness after full vaccination is unlikely.

  7. “All the data I’ve seen suggests that asymptomatic spread among the fully vaccinated is extremely rare.” – The same applies to people with natural immunity, yet we saw very few exceptions for those, so I’m not surprised. I don’t really know why people expected major exceptions for vaccinated travellers.

    Destinations will reopen once large majority of locals is vaccinated. And when that happens, traveller’s individual vaccination status will be irrelevant.

  8. I’m ready to travel to any country efter I am vaccinated in 6 weeks time. AllI require id cars, bars and restaurants to be open. And no mask requirements in public space. I think I might need to look towards Latinamerica to find that.

  9. I am keen to get back to Thailand. The April 1 scheme is too restrictive for me. I’d go to Phuket if they tested upon arrival and released me after 3 days confinement (subject to negative result). I fully expect Thailand to adjust this plan for the better, as their vaccine rollout progresses. Vaccination of Thais will guide the whole process. Thai Public opinion will not tolerate a torrent of Farang while uninoculated Thais await their jabs.

  10. Lucky, you are a week late with this news. Anybody who follows travel news would already know about this.

  11. @Jackson

    I recognize your comment was mocking hyperbole, but technically millions HAVE died. The global death toll has exceeded 2.8 million with over 550k in the US alone.

    Ignoring that figure because the casualties only affect a “small proportion” of the overall population is like saying it was foolish to be concerned with terrorism post 9/11, or the injustice of mass shootings, or the sacrifice of those serving in the armed forces.

    I’m still not sure why we’re so polarized on one extreme or the other. No one is saying we need to live in fear forever. I think even the most conservative approach to reopening only had us living in fear for a temporary period of time, until a vaccine could build up herd immunity with as few casualties along the way as possible.

  12. I think this might be more targeted at Asia based travelers, especially those from China, than Europe or North America based travelers. All of the cities that will “open” have historically had nonstop flights to Southeast Asia and China, thus mitigating the need for a Bangkok transfer.

  13. Curious how countries (including Thailand) will handle families who want to visit where only the parents have been vaccinated (as children aren’t currently eligible for the vaccines)?

  14. You obviously have no clue about how things work in Thailand, and what’s actually happening.

    Everything quoted above is effectively just someone’s hope/proposal. None of it is an actual “plan” as one would be implemented elsewhere (so there are all sorts of holes and logical inconsistencies, some of which have been pointed out), and none of it is about to be put into effect.

    Because this is just the latest in a long, long string of HOPES that the tourism authority or other powerless business lobbying organizations in Thailand has floated. There have been a hundred others before, and they went nowhere, which is exactly where this one is headed.

    Dream on. Not gonna happen.

  15. Folks here in BKK are pretty skeptical that this is going to work out well in terms of restarting the economic engine…the understanding here is that visitors will have to fly directly to HKT or fly into BKK only to transfer: one will not be let out of the airport/through immigration to spend the night in the city. There’s only one land crossing/way off the island – a bridge to Phang Nga/Khao Lak, which is a different province, so we expect there will be strict checking of those trying to cross; it should be relatively easy to check folks who are trying to leave the island/province on ferries/catamarans. SO, why so skeptical? Well, to start: July is a terrible time to visit Phuket! Many boat tours don’t run; beaches are dreary, or even closed; many businesses are closed or have reduced hours. Furthermore, a lot of businesses (restaurants, shops, massage/spa spots) have shuttered permanently as a result of COVID – they aren’t coming back. Samui and Samet would make way more sense in some ways, but there’s no airport on the latter, while the monopoly on Samui’s connections + it’s tiny facilities (which can not handle many folks at one time, even during low seasons) also make it a tough go. Many believe the folks who would visit would be predominantly from China and Russia…and given the questions around the vaccines in those countries…so, yea…we’ll see…since Phuket tourism contributes roughly 15% of the country’s GDP, it makes sense the powers that be want to open there first…but oy…

  16. I have already received offers from several hotels in Phuket. Yesterday was banyan tree. 145000 bait for 11 days, meals and my own pool!

  17. Let’s just get it opened up, if you want to hang at home- 100% your right to do so. But stop policing the movements of others, especially as the vulnerable in the US are, for all intents and purposes, vaccinated. Enough- Thailand can do as its government sees fit, but the longterm economic and social consequences will force a quicker timeline to reopening.

  18. Thailand has one of the lowest cases/deaths per capita (lower than AUS/NZL even with inferior health care). I understand why they’d want to take a conservative approach to accepting any vax card (that anyone can create at home) and vax standard/quality from all four corners of the world at face value on day #1 of reopening. This is a good transition period to evaluate someone from Country-X who got 2 shots of Pfizer and waited 15 days b4 traveling vs. another from Country-Y who hopped on the plane 2 days after a shot of Russia’s Sputnik V.

  19. I was fully vaccinated and still put in my 15 days in quarantine to get back into Thailand. My vaccinated friends now want to come if it is only seven days. Seven days is probably not that bad if you plan to stay for some time. Hopefully as the world becomes vaccinated quarantine free travel will become commonplace.

  20. I get Thailand not wanting to throw their doors open to Americans and Europeans until their own population is vaccinated. Why should they subject their population the virus like that? What I don’t understand is the logic of vaccinated people not being able to visit the rest of the country after they have been in one of the controlled areas for several days. Seems like they could just offer a test to those vaccinated people to confirm they are negative. Don’t have any interest of being crowded into what is nothing more than a tourist destination just so the touts have people to pounce on. Seriously can’t even visit Bangkok? Again we aren’t talking about next week here. We are talking six months from now.

  21. I really hope they open up sooner than planned. My first big trip I booked for this fall was Bali and Thailand for the end of September. Not sure I’ll actually be allowed to enter (I will be vaccinated by then). I probably will have to cancel (AGAIN) but I’m keeping it on the books for now.

    I booked ANA award tickets from Seattle-Taipei-Bali-Bangkok-Tokyo-Seattle in business for 272,000 miles. Hopefully I get to go.

  22. For obvious reasons (distance, direct flights), Thailand had more visitors from Europe than from the US, before the pandemic struck. Opening up seems to be based on vaccines. However, Europeans, at least those aged 65 or less, will one get vaccinated in the second half of this year, earliest. Therefore the change proposed is extremely minor.

  23. One word of caution: “vaccinated” means those who have received vaccines approved by WHO and/or Thailand. As of today, Moderna has not yet been approved for use in Thailand, so, according to data from the Thai Embassy in LA, those who have received the Moderna vaccine are still under a 10-day quarantine.
    ….and, yeah, I got Moderna! LOL

  24. Sorry, can’t go back and edit –
    Moderna announced in March that it will seek approval for use in Thailand.
    Hopefully that goes through asap, putting to rest this issue

  25. Wake me up when Bangkok reopens for tourists. I need to get some new custom-made shirts and I always go to Bangkok for those.

  26. “All the data I’ve seen suggests that asymptomatic spread among the fully vaccinated is extremely rare.”

    Right, but as the very first comment points out, you can still get covid after being vaccinated, and presumably you can still transmit it, even if it’s “rare”. The restrictions make sense if you consider that the goal is not simply to allow vaccinated travelers in, but to let them in *when the population has been sufficiently vaccinated to prevent further spread*. When the population is at that level, the vaccination status and infectiousness of a single incoming visitor doesn’t make much difference. It makes a *huge* difference if the population isn’t vaccinated. Because neither vaccination status nor infectiousness are easy to confirm with good reliability, the policy of allowing people in as soon as the population has been close to fully vaccinated makes sense.

  27. I would be surprised if those dates and requirements are not scraped. Many people, not just the US, will not get the vaccination period, and hence less tourists. Less tourists means panic, and panic means opening up sooner.

  28. Sri Lanka has introduced a scheme whereby vaccinated travellers are released after one day in quarantine at a govt. approved hotel (you get a variety) + 2 negative PCR tests ($40 each). How long this will last with the new variants running amok is anyone’s guess, though. But countries like Thailand and Sri Lanka that are heavily reliant on tourism need to open up soon with some imaginative schemes. There will always be some risk. Recently a few planeloads of tourists from the Ukraine were allowed into Sri Lanka and, apparently, there are plans to allow Kazakh travellers in. I guess they are testing the waters for the 2021-22 winter season. The tourists were taken to restricted tourist attractions like Yala National Park and they were confined to their hotels and adjacent beaches. A few tested +ve for covid after they arrived but they had no opportunities to mix freely with locals. Why those countries, and the Ukraine in particular with its bad covid stats, is beyond me. Thailand’s plans seem too restrictive to me at this point. How do you go there from international destinations if you cannot transit via Bangkok?

  29. As ever, most people miss the point. Yes it’s much less likely that a vaccinated person will come in and spread the virus (new variants permitting). The problem is is a whole bunch of people need to provide services to those tourists and if there is still community spread and the the population doesn’t have a good level of vaccination then there is a risk that people coming together to work in, for example, a hotel can pass the virus between them and then through their social networks. The plan to wait until there is a high level of vaccination in the community before reopening to vaxxed tourist without quarantine seems sensible.

    I’m scratching my head about why you would let in vaxxed people and make them quarantine before the community is vaxxed, unless it is a way to limit numbers. I guess it is just a way to be cautious.

  30. This is how most APAC countries will approach reopening, with Thailand leading the charge. Most APAC leaders have already acknowledged tourism will be closed until at least 2022, and the plan to continue quarantine for vaccinated individuals. The prevalent fear over here are of variants. Since these countries really haven’t experienced the variants that the western countries have, there could be a lot of potential damage if quarantine measures are eased too quickly. And we’re all used to sporadic quarantines and lockdowns anyways, because that’s how we’ve handled covid this past year. (I’m living in Japan as an expat and travelling to other APAC countries)

  31. Phuket is talking of “travel corridors” .What I understand by this is that foreign tourists will be restricted to certain areas and certain modes of transport. Another way of looking at this is that it might become “Phuketland” where tourists pay tourist prices and have no way of getting away from that.There would be local prices in local resorts and tourist prices in tourist resorts. But no crossover.

    Lucky mentions Australia and New Zealand. They are both quite predictable. Australia depended 2/3 of tourism income from domestic tourism, and 1/3 from international tourists arriving. Australians used to spend more on international tourism than they spent on domestic. So, with borders closed, all that money Australians used to spend overseas is being spent in that economy. Overall, the economy is doing really well and in a resources boom, so there is no pressing need to open borders.

    New Zealand has had a sluggish economy and looks like going into recession. The population there have supported local tourism near to major towns and cities. That doesn’t nearly replace international tourism income . Especially in the snow fields in South Island. They desperately need to find a solution as they don’t have other resources.

  32. I have a flight booked to BKK (Delta One suite from DTW to ICN!) in early July. The flight from Seoul arrives at 9:45 PM. I don’t believe there are any flights to Phuket that late, so I’m guessing I’ll have to hang out in the airport until the next morning rather than stay at a nearby hotel.

  33. It’s worth the gamble to be in a quiet Conrad Koh Samui with highly attentive service and amazing views at discount prices.

  34. I have no problem having to show a vaccination certificate but won’t be going anywhere until the quarantine, fit to fly certificate, testing and insurance requirements are scrapped, so it looks like 2022 at the earliest.

  35. Don’t forget that tourists can visit the rest of Thailand after spending 7 days without restrictions and a negative test in Phuket. I think Thailand is doing a great job by providing a timeline to which they can hopefully stick. Unfortuneately a lot of European citizens will not have had the recommended two jabs by july when the summer holidays will start.

  36. Why do they care about people traveling from abroad being vaccinated? If people who are vaccinated can’t catch it, they should go police state and mandate their people all get it.

    What is their plan to open up to non-vaccinated unwashed masses like me? I need to split some cheeks in Pattaya and get a soapy massage. Many soapy massages.

  37. BKK can be avoided by flying Emirates or Qatar directly into Phuket via their hubs of DXB and DOH.

    Though the 7 day quarantine is a deal breaker. Fully vaxxed travellers should be let go at the airport after taking their swabs.If they turn out positive then put them under quarantine.

    Countries like Thailand have the aim of achieving zero cases that is why they are so robust in their measures for tourists. Though with tourism there will be few positive cases inspite of getting vaxxed what with so many new mutants.

    COVID is not going to leave us at least for a few years, hence adopting a sensible and moderate approach will result in supporting the economies of tourism dependent countries like Thailand and Srilanka.

    Dubai Maldives Turkey and Serbia seem to be doing fine after they opened up to tourists since last July without quarantine measures. By “doing fine” I mean there are sure daily cases in those countries but not catastrophic where people are dropping dead.

  38. After completing the quarantine you can travel ANYWHERE in Thailand, you might as well stay in Bangkok if you wish.
    Also, the list of vaccine approved by Thai Ministry of Health includes: Sinovac, Astra Zeneca, SK Bioscience, Pfizer, Moderna, Serum Institute of India, Johnson & Johnson.
    All this information is available on any Thai Embassy website, it’s not rocket science to check it out.

  39. No interest to me: Bangkok is excluded, so I can’t even go to my condo for quarantine, instead being required to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days. I’d no more go to Pattaya than fly to the moon (…and Phuket isn’t much better).
    If they want to reopen, they need sensible, clear , definitive policies and procedures, not the par-for-the-course half-arsed BS

  40. Help me under As of July 1, 2021, vaccinated tourists will be able to travel to Phuket with no quarantine requirement…Once in Phuket what’s stopping anyone from hoping on a “domestic” flight and going anywhere else in Thailand ???

  41. As long as quarantine is required, tourists will not return in large numbers. Thailand tried several variations of that plan – none worked.
    7 day quarantine is completely useless.. no medical benefit and still a barrier for tourism.

    It also takes 2 to tango.. China doesn’t let their citizens travel on tour groups until Q4. Japan will try to keep their residents at home and spend money there. Same for Korea. Malaysia doesn’t even want residents to travel between provinces inside their own country.
    Australia is closed to outbound travel until 2022… what is left? UK – they are considering fines for people who travel on holiday . EU- not doing too well in the vaccination department

    The big downside of this plan is that vaccination has to be more than 14 and fewer than 90 days after second shot or 1 single shot. Many Americans wouldn’t be able to go in October or later.
    The country needs to decide whether it wants tourism or whether it wants a 100% low-risk strategy.
    Demand will be reduced by government restrictions in source countries already. Making it more difficult for the remaining and eligible tourists is not a recipe for success.

  42. Thailand should look at EU Green certificate. You are free to move around. I bought a ticket for Bangkok at the end of September, I will need to move to January 2022 if the government doesn’t lift the quarantine and restricted areas. Quarantine and sandbox areas will restrict many tourists. We all don’t want to go to Phuket and Samui or Chiang Mai, we want to explore other parts of the country without restrictions.

  43. Imagine traveling for relaxation and tourism to a heavily restrictive country that can change their mind on a moments notice *shrug* No thanks

  44. I’m really glad this is happening. Thailand closed its airports immediately and has had one of the lowest cases per capita in the world. The country”s economy desperately depends on tourism. We need to reopen up everything. I personally have never bought into the Covid narrative.

  45. @Iris – Thailand kept borders open in December, January and February and many Chinese tourists entered at that time. Nobody can explain why Chinese tourists did supposedly bring the virus to Italy at the beginning of 2020 while the Chinese visitors to other Asian countries did not start infections there at the same time.
    One of the big mysteries around Covid

  46. Thailand has a low COVID rate, for the same reason that the USA has a higher rate. That is because Thailand has relatively good metabolic health, and we have poor metabolic health (fat/diabetic people, etc.!).

    As HJB commented, there was plenty of potential exposure to COVID; but its not a mystery why it did not hit them as hard (I wrote the answer above!)

    But yeah, lets say un-vaccinated people cannot travel, but welcome on in fat unhealthy people scarfing down donuts and cokes… when study after study shows that is who is most effected by the virus, and spreads the virus.

  47. The Thai authorities are all in a spin, and don’t have a clue what they are doing but that never surprised me. They go by the book only, and change rules as it suites them. Thaiairways lost the plot totally, and in their near or bankrupt state, they don’t even keep in touch with their most loyal Gold card members, which are the people spending most money. I have been a gold member for decades, but never had one letter from them to tell me about future plans for the airline, quite amazing. Unless Thailand are prepared to open up to tourist without any conditions, apart from being vaccinated, then they will find that visitors won’t turn up at all, a lost cause I think.

  48. Until they lift their quarantine requirements and other restrictions, basically fully open up, then we ain’t interested in travelling to b Thailand.

  49. @DaKine – the rates of infection have nothing to do with Americans being fatter: Thais (and expats here!) have followed the science, wearing our masks everywhere. I don’t believe that the numbers are actually as low as the government is reporting here, but there’s no question that Thais (and expats here!) have heeded mitigation efforts. That’s a big difference between Asian cultures and American: folks here actually give a damn about everyone else they share a society with…

  50. I don’t mind quarantine, I don’t mind a lot of testing, but simplyfie the paperwork! Book a flight and a quarantine hotel and get a covid test before you travel and off you go. I’m not flying half way around the world just to stay for 30 days once you are free to go. Due to the difficulties moving between countries, simply give 90 or even 180 days visa upon arrival. If necessary simply ask for proof of funds. After quarantine, free to travel around without any further bookings of accommodation needed.

  51. Let Thailand health authorities complete vaccination atleast 90% of their population, especially in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai and allow foreign tourists, vaccinated in their respective countries, only to these locations in Thailand. Dont impose any additional restrictions on global tourists….
    Otherwise, seal your borders and Thais live happily without any threat of infection spreading especially from Chinese tourists…..

  52. What about tourists with children? Children under the age of 16 aren’t included in the vaccine rollout plan. After July 1 Can I who is vaccinated, enter phuket with my 1 year old who isn’t?

  53. I am here in Bangkok now and I did read that the vaccine allotment to Phuket has been put on hold due to the outbreak. Ten days ago there was a lot of bravado about reopening and now all of the action is to temporarily shut down.

    I do have two fully vaccinated friends quarantining here for seven days to gain entry. Seven days is not the end of the world if you plan to stay a while. Sure beats the fifteen days I did.

  54. There are many complications, not least of which is the explosion in cases as a consequence of premature reopening of entertainment venues ( including hiso patrons with strong government ties). Record new cases three days in a row.
    No way is any serious reopening of tourism going to happen in 2021.
    A further issue under debate is the choice of the Chinese vaccine ( and its low efficacy) and the glacial-speed rollout ( except for the ‘connected’, including politicians putting themselves at the front of the queue, regardless of genuine need)

  55. I write off any trip to land of smile this year. Can see getting a test is an issue which is tough for Americans to get for return flight to home. 7 day quarantine might be ok if you stay 4+ weeks but what’s the point of going if they shutter down a lot of places.

    Probably have more fun in Florida without any “covid theatre” restrictions!

  56. The government of Thailand (and I use that term loosely…) as well as lots of Thais are in complete and utter denial of COVID. “It can’t happen here”, “all is going according to the plan”, “everything will be fine”, etc. Such a deep, deep denial and disconnect from reality it would almost make Trump supporters blush (almost).

    Check back in 10-14 days, when the super-spreading that’s just taken place with unrestricted travel and mixing from Songkran (Thai New Year festivities) outstrips the country’s hospital ICU beds. Thailand may soon look like Brazil with overflowing field hospitals and no place to put the corpses.

  57. @Bobo – actually, the government and many people are in panic over fewer than 2,000 infections per day and 99 deaths in a year (in comparison, 277 people died in road accidents during Songkran so far this year). Just look at the protection for the country in every plan to open

    The Phuket opening will be delayed most likely as they can not vaccinate 70% of the population by the deadline

    From December 2019 until March 2020 large numbers of Chinese tourists entered the country. Minimal transmission within Thailand. At the same time, Chinese tourists supposedly caused infections in Europe. Very low transmissions in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam – and Cambodia initially was set against masks even.

    There may be some form of residual immunity from other coronavirus strains in the region, because Thailand and Cambodia should have seen many infections in Q1 2020. Nobody has a good explanation why measures in March prevented an outbreak in January and February.

    There are no super-spreader events in Thailand, let’s see how full the field hospitals are going to be before declaring the end of the world. In the USA and Europe we hear about the lack of hospital beds today but when you look at admissions and ICU beds in detail, they are much lower than in January.

  58. Thailand is not going to suddenly look like Brazil. The most recent outbreaks in Thailand has them closing schools, bars and massage parlours, as well as banning alcohol sales in restaurants, for at least two weeks. Brazil had leadership that just let things spiral out of control. Thailand is taking steps to slow the virus has much as possible Massive difference between the two. Still with the numbers in Thailand going up I wouldn’t bank on them keeping to their opening timeline unless they can get vaccinations really rolling.

  59. @Bill
    Too little, too late. Restaurants remain open ( but unable to serve alcohol), the mega malls are open but required to close at 2100 ( most of them did that before COVID), small shops required to close between 2300-0400.
    This current outbreak is directly attributable to the wealthy and connected, via their patronage of those Thong Lor ‘entertainment’ venues ( one of which had a minimum spend of $6000 USD). Sure, the small fry managers are in jail now, but the big fish owners are unbothered, as is invariably the case.
    This is going to be a disaster for Thailand, and it will take years to fully recover….

  60. I love Thailand, and am a regular visitor, but have you seen the most recent daily statistics? From recording virtually no spread for most of 2020, they are now looking at 1,500 new cases per day – the highest daily COVID-19 case rate in Thailand for the entire period of the pandemic.

    Until they have that under control, Thailand is completely off my agenda. New Zealand on the other hand . . .

  61. Right…wake me up when BKK is open. I’m vaccinated. I know what precautions to take. This whole thing is really getting stupid.

  62. I arrived in Thailand (Bkk) 10 days ago. Airport looks like a nuclear contamination site the way they’re suited. But the processing went smoothly.
    7 day quarantine is a piece of cake. Since I’m here for 46 days, 7 is not that big a chunk. Now I’m free to go anywhere. No hotel even asks for my papers proving quarantine completed.
    The country has announced more “red zone” restrictions but not too bad. I don’t dine or drink after 9 pm anyway.
    Hotels incredibly cheap! Royal Orchid and Hilton Millennium only about $60 all in.
    Did quarantine at Courtyard and they give 50% off coupon at the Renaissance in Koh Samui. They honor for the entire stay. With discount I’ll be staying for about $38/night! Using my 10 SNAs makes this a “suite” deal.
    Occupancy rate is in the 15% -40% arena so upgrades galore. This is the time to travel if you can stomach a short quarantine IMO.

  63. @SloMan

    Pattaya does have its own airport. Uttapaya. It’s runway is international length. Why?

    Because it was used in the past by B52’s!!!

    With the exception of Chiang Mai, the destinations are islands or coastal. Statistics show that these areas are less vulnerable.

    Well done Thailand for at least trying to kick start something. Of course it will be a step by step approach.

  64. As for those saying you can’t buy beers in restaurants now, what’s law and what’s practiced differ. I’m currently drinking a Chang in Hua Him as I write this.
    Concerning Covid statistics here, like most Asian countries don’t believe them. In Thailand even asymptomatic people must do hospital quarantine. This suppresses those coming forward. Only those truly sick will go to get checked. Also, testing is much less prevalent here than USA so be careful comparing any countries.

  65. @Ron: I don’t think countries considering or even re-opening give a ratsass about the anti-vaxers coming over. Nobody has gone through the economic and social issues of this pandemic to then consider the poor feelings of those stupid enough to not get vaccinated. My bet also says those anti-vaxers are not big travelers and doubt they spend that much if they do (based on generalizations made by media and my personal views).

  66. Lucky, you did not mention about the travel bubbles part in the restart article.

    THIS IS HOW IT’S GOING TO BE.

    Scheduled charter flights flying to ONLY Phuket, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Krabi and Samui, and movement is restricted to the destination only. The airlines will sell you it as kind of a packaged holiday inclusive of hotel + airfare.

    No domestic travel permitted. No onward city permitted. In, spend a few days, and out. These numbers will be limited at the beginning., because believe it or not, we humans have become anti-social and will not socialize with strangers and people. This will ease us back out there, because the world will be very different.

    The Thailand we’ll be visiting, is also very different. The Thai Baht is currently the strongest currency in Southeast Asia, even more so than the Singapore dollar. You’re looking at USD1 = THB12 to 14 only. Things will be expensive for many. And I mean… Really expensive. More expensive than Singapore or Japan. That’s because… Thailand has entered first world status.

  67. This is how lax things are in the LOS: 2 foreign teachers from Samut Prakan, on the gulf just south of B’kok, went to Phuket for a weekend, visited ‘entertainment’ venues, returned to their school, taught classes unmasked: now almost 40 people infected, including students and their families ( with likely much more growth to come in the cluster).
    1. It’s mind-numbingly dumb for the authorities to allow these places to have remained open (…even after they’d seen the consequences in similar joints in Bangkok and elewhere). 2. Little wonder Thais have a measure of contempt for foreigners, including expats, when the likes of these 2 show utter disregard for others ( either from ignorance or the abysmal claptrap so often quoted by deniers about how it’s only the flu, 98% recover, etc, etc). In fact people die as a consequence of this kind of selfishness. I hope this pair will be unceremoniously kicked out of the country as soon as they’ve recovered.

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