Thailand Considers Reopening to International Tourism in October

Thailand has introduced a plan to welcome back foreign visitors this fall under a program called “Safe and Sealed.”

According to CNN Travel, travelers would be required to undergo COVID-19 testing and spend multiple weeks in designated areas to meet strict quarantine protocols.

“I have asked the prime minister for approval to set October 1 as the date to allow (inbound) tourists to enter,” Thailand’s Minister of Tourism Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said during a public forum last week. “I also have requested to use Phuket as a pilot model…and have received approval from the Center for Economic Situation Administration.”

The program would allow tourists to fly into Phuket, where they would need to quarantine in a designated resort area for at least 14 days. After producing negative COVID-19 test results upon arrival and at the end of their quarantine period, travelers would be free to travel on the island. However, those seeking to travel beyond Phuket would be required to remain in quarantine for an additional seven days before undergoing a third COVID-19 test at the end of the 21-day quarantine period.

Officials have hinted at areas such a Patong Beach where tourists could vacation and access the beach within special zones comprising three to four resorts. Under the program, hotel employees would need to go into quarantine before leaving the zones in addition to receiving regular testing.

The plan has been approved by the Thai government but now requires the approval of local residents, with a public hearing and decision expected to take place early next month.

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