Thailand to reopen in 120 days

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that Thailand is ready to reopen to foreign visitors in 120 days, calling the decision a calculated risk and acknowledging that containing the spread of COVID-19 had caused adverse effects on people and local businesses.

“The time has now come for us to look ahead and set a date for when we can fully open our country and start receiving visitors,” the Prime Minister said during a live television broadcast. “I am, therefore, setting a goal for us to be able to declare Thailand fully open within 120 days, and for tourism centers that are ready, to do so even sooner.”

Thailand has done an effective job in preventing COVID-19 from reaching epidemic levels. While the Kingdom is managing a third wave of infections, the numbers have been limited enough that the situation is not classified as an outbreak.

While the government has achieved that public health success, businesses like tourism need foreign visitors to reboot. After reopening, visitors who are fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine.

“I know this decision comes with some risk because when we open the country, there will be an increase in infections, no matter how good our precautions are. But I think, when we take into consideration the economic needs of people, the time has now come for us to take that calculated risk,” Prime Minister Prayut said.

He cautioned, however, that the loosening of restrictions could be rolled back if the virus starts to spread at a rapid pace with high levels of infections.

“The only exception will come if a truly serious situation arises or seems likely to emerge. We will monitor and deal with such situation on a case-by-case basis,” Prime Minister Prayut said.

Thailand’s national vaccination drive is now underway, and a significant percentage of the population should be inoculated within 120 days.

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