Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has confirmed Bangkok, Chon Buri, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chiang Mai will begin implementing their tourism reopening plans on Oct 1 as planned.
Twenty-one other provinces will follow suit on Oct 15, he said yesterday dispelling doubts over whether the government would be able to proceed with its plan in the face of the ongoing pandemic.
Mr Phiphat admitted the high numbers of new Covid-19 infections are the main hindrance but the ministry is fully prepared for the reopening.
As for the 200-plus new cases of Covid-19 recorded daily in Phuket, he said, these high figures stem from the province's active case-finding operations which are carried out in every community, including migrant workers.
Phuket was the first province to implement a tourism reopening programme.
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul added that the ministry is fully prepared for the Oct 1 reopening plan.
Phetchaburi is ready to reopen to tourists on Oct 1, with effective Covid-19 controls to reduce the threat of new infections, Natthawut Phetpromsorn, the deputy provincial governor said yesterday.
Strict disease control measures remain in place to contain infection clusters, said Mr Natthawut.
Bubble and seal measures applied at factories and markets have reduced the incidence of the disease, he said.
Now that infections have dropped, Phetchaburi can prepare to reopen for tourism on Oct 1, in line with the government's plan, he said.
All sectors are well-prepared, he said, adding that tourists can have confidence that popular destinations such as Cha-am district were safe and free from the virus.
Visitors could enjoy their stay in the province, said Mr Natthawut.
Phetchaburi public health office chief Phetchakit Thaensawat said yesterday that 54% of targeted groups in the province have been vaccinated, comprised mainly of people aged 60 years and over, and people with any of seven underlying conditions, and pregnant women.
Vaccination would reach 70% when more doses arrive, Dr Phetchakit said.