Thailand reduces quarantine, mulls reopening Bangkok tourism

Bangkok, Sep 30 (EFE).- Thailand will relax Covid-19 measures Friday, delaying curfew and reducing quarantine for foreign arrivals to a week, while authorities study reopening Bangkok and other destinations to tourism.

People who arrive in the country starting midnight will have to quarantine seven days instead of 14 days if they have received a full vaccine course and 10 days if they’re unvaccinated in designated hotels.

The capital, epicenter of the pandemic’s current wave in the country, and other areas marked as high risk, will have its nightly curfew reduced to one hour from tonight from 10 pm to 4 am.

In addition, the government will allow the reopening of some establishments, such as beauty salons, film theaters, gyms, museums or nurseries, among others, according to a decree published Wednesday in the official Thai gazette.

The council created to manage the pandemic looks to reopen the tourism sector, one of the Thai economy’s engines, and hopes to reopen Bangkok on Nov. 1 without the need for quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers, although it has not yet specified possible requirements.

The plan does not yet have local authorities’ approval, and a similar measure for the beginning of October was met with the public rejection weeks ago by Bangkok Governor Asawin Kwanmuang, who demanded more time to increase the capital’s vaccination rates.

Authorities launched a tourist bubble in Phuket in July that allows vaccinated travelers to visit the popular island in the country’s south without needing to quarantine.

After overcoming the lack of vaccine supplies and organizational problems, the mass vaccination campaign is progressing at a good pace in recent weeks and more than 25 percent of the target population has been fully vaccinated, with 50 percent receiving at least one dose.

Starting Oct. 1, authorities will begin vaccinating about 5 million children aged 12 to 18, while also giving booster doses to about 3 million people.

The government estimates it will have vaccinated the entire target population with the full dosage before the end of the year.

Daily Covid-19 infections are on the decline after hitting a high in mid-August.

The Health Ministry reported 10,414 new infections and 122 deaths Thursday, with the country registering 1.59 million infections since the beginning of the pandemic and 16,620 deaths. EFE


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