Representative image Photograph:( Reuters )
Before the pandemic, the kingdom attracted nearly 40 million visitors a year as tourism made up almost 20 per cent of its national income
Thailand is planning to fully re-open to vaccinated tourists travelling by air from countries deemed low risk from November 1, Premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha said.
Before the pandemic, the kingdom attracted nearly 40 million visitors a year as tourism made up almost 20 per cent of its national income.
However, Covid-related travel restrictions have left the economy battered, contributing to its worst performance in more than 20 years.
In a televised address on Monday, Prayut announced that the country will be reopening its borders to vaccinated tourists travelling by air from "low risk countries". The 10 nations considered low risk include Britain, the United States, China, Germany and Singapore.
"When they arrive, they should present a (negative) Covid test... and test once again upon arrival," the prime minister said. After getting a negative test, "they can travel freely like Thais," he said.
Visitors outside of Thailand's designated 10 low-risk countries are also welcome, however, they will have to be in quarantine.
He acknowledged the decision came with the risk of more coronavirus cases.
In 2020, Thailand lost about $50 billion in tourism revenue as foreign arrivals plunged 83 per cent to 6.7 million, from a record 39.9 million two years ago. Currently, the kingdom has more than 1.7 million cases.