Thailand has decided to reopen to vaccinated visitors from 63 countries and territories after lengthy quarantine. Bangkok and Phuket have welcomed the first wave of travelers who will not have to serve a lengthy quarantine.
Due to the country’s struggling tourism industry, they are opening after 18 months of strict Covid-19 restrictions.
Tourists who aren’t fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine must quarantine in a pre-booked, government-approved hotel for 10 days upon the arrival.
However, there is still a lot of paperwork to be done, Passengers have to apply for an entry permit, show they are fully vaccinated, have a negative test and insurance policies. About one million visitors are expected to arrive between now and March 2022. Thailand welcomed 39 million tourists before the pandemic in 2019.
Light at the end of the tunnel’
A tour guide Chaiyagorn Boonyapak said that It’s like seeing a very dim light at the end of the tunnel they haven’t been able to work in two years. He said he us just hoping for things to be normal and can get back to work.
Thailand is a country where tourism accounted for some 20% of the economy before the pandemic. The lockdown has caused a significant contraction in economic activity.
The country received 39.8 million international visitors in 2019 and saw this number drop to 6.7 million last year. Thailand recorded its worst performance since the 1997 Asian financial crisis with arrivals down more than 80 %.