Thailand has announced a plan to waiver mandatory quarantine requirement for fully-vaccinated visitors arriving from November in the capital Bangkok and other tourist hotspots in nine regions, amid efforts to revive the sector battered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Southeast Asian country has now planned to reopen Bangkok, Krabi, Hua Hin, Pattaya and Koh Phayam, following the reopening of Phuket and Samui islands in pilot schemes since July, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
Nationwide, the CCSA planned to halve the mandatory quarantine period for fully-vaccinated visitors arriving from Friday to seven days, and reduce it to 10 days for those that have not completed their inoculation, reports Xinhua news agency.
The CCSA also decided to further ease restrictions from Friday in 29 regions under maximum control, including Bangkok, to allow more businesses and venues such as spas, cinemas, libraries and indoor sports venues to reopen with certain requirements, and shortened the night-time curfews by one hour.
These measures came as the government strove to revive the country's pandemic-battered economy. The tourism sector, which accounted for about one-fifth of the country's GDP growth before the pandemic, has been hit hard after more than one year of border control.
Foreign tourist arrivals plunged to 6.7 million in 2020 from a peak of nearly 40 million in 2019. The country is accelerating vaccine rollout to gear up for the broader reopening.
It has administered about 53.7 million doses of vaccines, with more than 28 per cent of its nearly 70 million population having been fully vaccinated. Bangkok and 10 other provinces have vaccinated more than 50 per cent of their residents, according to data from the Department of Disease Control.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration vowed to reopen the city to fully-vaccinated travellers after 70 per cent of its residents being vaccinated.