Thailand has announced that it will start to allow international tourists into the country from August.
Before you get too excited, please read the small print. Tourist numbers will be extremely low to begin with, and only from a handful of countries.
1,000 Tourists Per Day
Yes, you read that right. A maximum of 1,000 tourists per day will be allowed into the country from August. This is phase 1 of a 3-phase operation to re-open the country to international leisure travelers.
These 1,000 tourists will be spread across 5 locations – Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi, Pattaya and Phuket. So that’s just 200 tourists per day for each of these areas.
Only Group Tours Allowed
During this first phase, only group tours will be allowed. 6-7 day tour packages will be designed for these locations. By only allowing group tours to begin with, it will be easier to manage where tourists go.
What Tourists Can Come?
The only tourists that will be allowed to come will be from low-risk countries. A low-risk country is one that has been free from the pandemic for a minimum of 30 days according to the World Health Organization.
Currently, only three countries meet this criteria – China, Japan and Taiwan.
What About Quarantine?
These tourists won’t need to do a 14-day quarantine when they arrive.
What About Phases 2 & 3?
Phase 2 – If after a month there aren’t any new infections from the Phase 1 tourists, more tourists will be allowed to come and the number of locations will be expanded. This will be a gradual process.
Phase 3 – If all goes well during Phase 2, then the country will eventually be opened to all tourists.
What About Western Tourists?
These haven’t been specifically mentioned, but judging by the above rules, I think it’s likely to be next year before British, American and most other Western tourists are allowed into the country. The pandemic in the USA seems pretty much out of control at the moment, so Americans are likely to be among the last allowed to arrive.