Thailand will begin admitting fully vaccinated visitors from 17 more countries without quarantine, increasing the number of countries on the list to 63.
On Oct 21, the government issued an announcement to allow fully vaccinated travellers from 63 countries and territories to enter the kingdom without quarantine from Monday, assuming they pass a Covid-19 test upon landing in Thailand.
The countries included in the announcement were Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bhutan, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.
According to a new announcement signed by permanent secretary for foreign affairs, Thani Thongphakdi, the new 17 countries are India, Taiwan, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Croatia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman, Romania, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Luxembourg, are now exempt from quarantine.
Fully vaccinated visitors from other countries will also be allowed to enter, though only through a tourism sandbox programme which is currently in place in 17 provinces. They will be required to quarantine for a full week before being able to travel to other parts of the country.
Tourists who aren't vaccinated or not fully vaccinated will now be required to quarantine at a hotel for 10 days.
Hotel bookings, particularly by guests from the 63 countries exempted from quarantine restrictions, are increasing, indicating that the reopening is attracting tourists from all over the world, said Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
"I'm confident the reopening will greatly benefit the country, especially in the tourism high season that normally lasts into early next year. TAT is now expecting over 1 million tourists to come in the next six months, or about 300,000 per month," he said.
Those figures are about 10% of the numbers recorded in 2019, he said.
In areas where maximum controls apply, restaurants are still prohibited from serving alcoholic beverages, except in Bangkok, which will only allow restaurants certified by the Safety and Health Administration (SHA) to serve alcohol up to 9pm.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the Ministry of Public Health and Transport Ministry to ensure the safety and convenience of tourists, said government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.