Bangkok, Nov 1 (EFE).- Thailand, one of the world’s most visited countries, reopened its borders on Monday to fully-vaccinated tourists from 63 countries and territories.
But the travelers will still have to spend a night in quarantine.
The country’s strategy to seal its borders to prevent the coronavirus spread worked well for months but has dealt a blow to its tourism sector, one of the main economic drivers.
The reopening of the country has caused mixed feelings among the Thais.
While some see it as a necessary step for economic recovery, others believe that it is still too early due to the low vaccination rate in the country.
In early October, the Thai authorities said they would gradually reopen the borders for a specific list of countries, expanded to 63.
Two days ago, the Thai foreign ministry posted the updated list on its social media networks.
The list includes countries like India, Indonesia, Romania, Vietnam, Taiwan, European Union member countries, the rest of Southeast Asia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Chile, the only Latin American nation.
The authorities had previously indicated that they would end quarantine for vaccinated but later specified that fully inoculated travelers would need to spend a night at an authorized hotel, awaiting the result of the Covid-19 test conducted upon their arrival.
The quarantine rules become more complicated for those not vaccinated or from countries not included in the list.
Unvaccinated travelers or those who have only received one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will have to undergo a 10-day hotel quarantine, reduced to seven days for those vaccinated but from countries not on the list.
Fully vaccinated travelers from countries outside the list can undertake quarantine-free travel to certain places like Phuket and Samui of travel bubbles.
But they will not be able to travel to other parts of the country for seven days.
Thailand has fully vaccinated around 42 percent of its population.
The vaccination campaign is progressing at different speeds across the country.
Over 70 percent of people in cities like Bangkok and Phuket have received their vaccine doses.
In a recent survey by Suan Dusit Poll on the reopening plan, more than half of those surveyed were against the arrival of tourists, saying that it was too early to reopen due to the low vaccination rate.
Almost 40 million tourists visited Thailand in 2019 when the tourism sector accounted for between 12 and 20 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
The country has recorded more than 1.8 million cases, including 19,070 deaths, since the pandemic. EFE