You’re entirely forgiven if you’ve lost track of Thailand’s plans to reopen travel. They’ve changed more often than a runway model during an an anxiety riddled fashion show, sometimes without notice.
But amid the confusion and controversy, a strong plan to win back tourists emerged, with plans for all vaccinated visitors to be able to skip out on any lengthy or expensive quarantine, starting in Phuket. You land, and off you go – free to enjoy paradise.
Thailand stated these arrivals would begin for the island of Phuket from July 1st, but slow vaccine rollout and case clusters left many doubting whether that the lofty goal was going to hold, particularly as the country increased quarantine time for arrivals until that date.
In a bold new statement, Thailand’s tourism body says the July 1st ‘quarantine free’ travel date will absolutely hold true, just under two months from the first scheduled arrivals.
Thailand Says Quarantine Free Travel Going Ahead As Scheduled
A myriad of recent scandals and unanticipated delays to vaccination rollout in Thailand lead to reports that there was absolutely no way ‘quarantine free’ travel to Phuket would open for vaccinated travelers in July, as planned.
But today, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) sent a message stating travel plans are full steam ahead, and any travelers considering the opportunity to visit quarantine free should go for it, without delay.
“The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) roadmap to reopen six major tourist provinces —Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Surat Thani (Ko Samui), Chon Buri (Pattaya) and Chiang Mai — to fully vaccinated foreign tourists will proceed as scheduled. Phuket will be the first to lift quarantine for vaccinated foreign tourists from July 1 onwards, followed by at least five other destinations from October.
The tourism authority also clarified that any fully vaccinated visitors entering Phuket for quarantine free travel in July will be required to spend the first 7 days of their trip in Phuket, before being allowed to fly elsewhere in the country. This was a key question on the mind of visitors, wondering how the post arrival process would be handled.
Thailand plans to allow quarantine free access for fully vaccinated travelers in other regions from October 1st, with Krabi, Phang Nga, Samui, Pattaya and Chiang Mai to be added from this date. Vaccinations in the country have been prioritized around areas of tourism.
“Apart from Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Surat Thani (Ko Samui), Chon Buri (Pattaya) and Chiang Mai, other destinations in the reopening pipeline include Bangkok, Phetchaburi, and Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin).”Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)
Thailand says it’s quickly catching up on vaccination, and 6 million doses will kick off a massive vaccination effort beginning in June. Thailand expects 10 million doses per month to be administered for the rest of the year.
Reports on the ground suggest Phuket and other tourist driven islands are in dire need of a financial boost, with shuttered windows and boarded up doors. If tourism is able to reboot safely and successfully in July, it shouldn’t be long before desirable Southeast Asian paradise is back on its feet.