As Thailand continues to navigate welcoming back international travellers, the country has opened some beloved beach destinations to tourists but is postponing plans to reopen other areas. By Alison Fox
Several notable cities in Thailand — like Bangkok, Hua Hin, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai — were initially slated to reopen for tourism on October 1, however, travellers will now have to wait until at least November, Reuters reported. The decision to postpone the border opening comes after vaccination rates fell short of targets.
In order to open to international tourists without quarantine measures, at least 70% of Bangkok residents must be fully vaccinated, infection rates — currently at around 2,700 or more daily cases — must decrease, and the rate of hospitalisations must decrease, according to local news outlet Thansettakij.
While Bangkok had been placed under strict lockdown over the summer, restrictions were eased in September, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
“Cities we’ve targeted have not reached 70% vaccination rates and so we have to push out the date to November,” Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters.
While the reopening of some cities like Bangkok has been postponed, Thailand has welcomed fully-vaccinated tourists to Phuket and Ko Samui in special travel programs which also allows tourists to visit nearby areas like Krabi and Phang-Nga.
To go, travellers must secure a Certificate of Entry, obtain proof of insurance that would cover up to $1,00,000 (INR 73,65,450) in potential COVID-19 treatments, pre-book a stay at an SHA Plus-certified hotel for at least seven nights, and book and prepay for all required on-the-ground testing. Travellers must also show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure.
After seven days, people can ask their hotel for a “transfer form” to leave Phuket or Ko Samui and travel to one of the extension areas.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.