Mae Sai-Tachilek bridge reopens
published : 20 Feb 2023 at 14:40
writer: Post Reporters
CHIANG RAI: The first Thailand-Myanmar friendship bridge, linking Mae Sai district and Tachilek, was reopened on Monday morning nearly three years after it was closed because of the Covid-19 epidemic, much to the delight of people on both sides of the border.
The reopening was officiated by Somwang Boonrayong, Chiang Rai deputy governor, and U Min Nai, the Tachilek governor.
The Mae Sai-Tachilek bridge was closed on March 23, 2020, as Covid-19 swept into Thailand, leaving only the second friendship bridge open for cross-border cargoes under strict conditions.
Mr Somwang said the long-awaited reopening was greeted with joy by people on both sides of the Sai river. Its closure had hurt trade and tourism between the two countries.
Before its closure, the bridge was open daily from 6.30am-9pm. The bridge has been reopened for a trial run, from 6.30am-6.30pm. The previous normal hours will be reinstated after the situation returns completely to normal, as assessed by authorities on both sides, he said.
Narong Kid-arn, the Mae Sai district chief, said Thai and foreign travellers who want to cross to Tachilek can apply for a temporary border pass at Mae Sai district office, or show their passports at the immigration checkpoint. To enter Myanmar they are required to carry proof they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, or a negative antigen test result.
Pakaimas Vierra, deputy president of the Chiang Rai Chamber of Commerce, said at this stage only individuals are allowed to cross over the first bridge. She hoped small trucks carrying goods would also be allowed to use it later.
Reports said people coming from Myanmar can enter Thailand through the normal process.
- Mae Sai
- chiang rai