The Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha, recently told the media that he plans to reopen the country for foreign visitors in 120 days to stabilise the economy. He also plans to administer at least one Covid-19 vaccine shot to about 50 million people by October.
In the past 10 weeks, Thailand had reported more than 80 of its caseload. Since April, the country has been fighting a sharp surge in infections. The government plans to administer an average of 10 million vaccines a month against the coronavirus from July. Thailand was ahead of target in securing 105.5 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for 2021. It is also seeking more supplies next year.
As opening the country increases the threat of contracting Covid-19, the prime minister has said, “When we take into consideration the economic needs of the people, the time has now come for us to take that calculated risk. The priorities of our country must now advance to the next level.”
When Thailand tightened its border restrictions and enforced a strict 14-day hotel quarantine, the foreign tourists dried up along with the money. Almost 90 percent of the island’s income is linked to tourism. Phuket is now planned to be the first pilot tourist attraction in the country to allow fully vaccinated visitors without quarantine restrictions before reopening the borders. Following that, other tourism destinations can be opened for foreign visitors.
Notably, the country has recorded 218,131 Covid cases and 1,629 deaths to date.