Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said the CCSA resolved on Thursday (Oct 14) to allow in fully vaccinated visitors from Britain, the United States, Germany, Singapore and China if they pass an RT-PCR test before arrival ‒ for an initial period from Nov 1 to Dec 31, reports the Bangkok Post.
Travellers from these five countries were considered as having low-risk of COVID-19 infection. They would not have to quarantine.
NOTE: In the English-language press briefing after the CCSA meeting yesterday, Natapanu Nopakun, Deputy Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, emphasised that the CCSA General Meeting did not finalise the list of low-risk countries that will be able to enter Thailand without any quarantine. The agreement was “in principle only”.
The number of destinations opened to tourists would also expand from four provinces ‒ Phuket and parts of Surat Thani, Phang Nga and Krabi provinces ‒ to 17 provinces of economic significance. This would include all of Bangkok, Samut Prakan (only Suvarnabhumi airport), Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin district) and all of Krabi and Phang Nga, Dr Taweesilp said.
From Dec 1, another 16 major provinces would reopen, including Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Lamphun, Phrae and Sukhothai.
The operations committee of the CCSA had yet to finalise the entire list of the additional provinces, Dr Taweesilp said.
The CCSA’s briefing on Thursday afternoon started with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha confirming that Thailand was ready for reopening in two weeks.
“Many countries want to let their citizens visit Thailand… It will be a small start, for people to resume earning a living,” the prime minister said.
Ministers and senior representatives of the government and the private sector were also present for the announcement at Government House.
Dark-red zones cut, controls eased
On Saturday (Oct 16) the number of dark-red provinces of maximum and strict COVID-19 control will fall from 29 to 23, the night curfew will be shortened and more businesses can resume, the CCSA also announced on Thursday.
The number of red provinces of maximum control will also decline, from 37 to 30, and orange-coded provinces rise from 11 to 24, the Bangkok Post noted in a separate report.
There will be no other provinces zoned for COVID controls.
CCSA spokesman Taweesilp said the 23 dark-red provinces will be Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Chanthaburi, Chon Buri, Chachoengsao, Tak, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Narathiwat, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Prachin Buri, Pattani, Ayutthaya, Yala, Rayong, Ratchaburi, Songkhla, Samut Prakan, Samut Songkhram, Samut Sakhon and Saraburi.
The 30 red zones will be Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Chai Nat, Chaiyaphum, Chumphon, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Trang, Trat, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Sawan, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phatthalung, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phetchaburi, Maha Sarakham, Ranong, Lop Buri, Si Sa Ket, Satun, Sa Kaeo, Sing Buri, Suphan Buri, Surat Thani, Surin, Ang Thong, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani and Phetchabun.
The 24 orange provinces will be Krabi, Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Phanom, Nan, Bung Kan, Buri Ram, Phayao, Phang Nga, Phrae, Phuket, Mukdahan, Mae Hong Son, Yasothon, Roi Et, Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Sakon Nakhon, Sukhothai, Nong Khai, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Uttaradit, Uthai Thani and Amnat Charoen.
In dark-red zones, the curfew will be from 11pm to 3am for at least the next 15 days, instead of the present 10pm-4am.
Convenience stores and markets could open until 10pm and also reopen their amusement zones.
Cinemas, eateries, theatres, stadiums, public parks and shopping centres could stay open until 10pm.
Daycare centres for elderly people could reopen and all public transport vehicles could utilise all passenger seats.
Trade, convention and exhibition centres and the likes at hotels and department stores could organise meetings of up to 500 people, but food would have to be in individual servings, people must wear face masks and meetings be limited to two hours duration and end by 10pm.
Shopping centres, except those in dark-red zones, will be able to reopen game arcades but not water parks or amusement parks.
Limits for participants in gatherings will be raised to 50 in dark-red zones, 100 in red zones and 200 in orange zones.
Entertainment places will remain closed, including pubs, bars and karaoke shops, because of the high risk of disease transmission, Dr Taweesilp said.