Most say it's still too early to reopen country: poll

Most say it's still too early to reopen country: poll

Tourists shop at the Bang Nam Pheung floating market in Phra Pradaeng district of Samut Prakan on Oct 2, 2021. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
Tourists shop at the Bang Nam Pheung floating market in Phra Pradaeng district of Samut Prakan on Oct 2, 2021. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

A majority of people disagree with the government's decision to reopen the country on Nov 1, saying that the time is not yet right for it, according to the result of an opinion survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, or Suan Dusit Poll.

The poll was conducted online during Oct 11-14 on 1,329 people throughout the country to gauge their opinions on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's announcement that after being forced to close by the Covid-19 pandemic, the country would reopen on Nov 1.

Asked whether the country is ready to reopen to tourists without quarantine requirements, a majority -- 60.10% -- said "no" while the remaining 39.90% said "yes."

Asked whether they agreed with the reopening date of Nov 1, 59.86% said "no" and 40.14% said "yes".

Asked to cite "necessary conditions" for the reopening, with each respondent allowed to choose more than one answer, 74.78% cited the inoculation of more than 70% of the population with quality vaccines; 69.04% the ability to contain the pandemic; 68.31% readiness in terms of health services, hospitals and medical personnel; 66.03% mandatory testing of people before entering places; and 65.00% tourist confidence in safety at such facilities as airports, public transport, restaurants and hotels.

Asked to choose "unfavourable conditions" for the reopening, 71.60% said the population has not yet been fully vaccinated; 70.45% the possibility that Covid-19 could spread further in the country; 66.11% the possibility that tourists could bring in the virus; 61.05% concerns over new Covid-19 variants; and 55.92% the lack of clear plans to cope with a further spread of the virus.

Asked to pick "benefits" of reopening the country, 77.29% cited the revival of the economy; 74.74% people would have jobs and could earn a living; 68.07% the country would generate income from tourism; 64.17% tourism-related businesses would revive; and 57.80% investors and business operators would regain confidence in the country.

Asked to cite the "unfavourable effects" of the reopening, 83.43% said Covid-19 cases might again rise; 74.60% the country might again be placed in lockdown; 59.55% the readiness of health services might be affected; 54.85% cases of illegal border crossings might increase; and 48.19% people's living conditions might be affected.

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