Thailand is a country that attracts over one million visits from British nationals every year in normal times. However, due to the current coronavirus pandemic and the standstill of travel, many people have been left wondering when they can head to the country’s sunny shores again. While the UK’s total number of recorded cases has rocketed over the past weeks, Thailand has only reported 2,960 cases and 54 deaths.
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Today the Thai government reported only six new cases and no deaths.
This is the lowest number of reported cases in over a month.
Thailand is now looking to relax lockdown restrictions.
Restaurants, cafes and markets are set to reopen from Sunday May 3.
This will be monitored for 14 days to see if the rate of infections increases again, said Dr Thaweesilp Wisanuyothin, spokesperson for Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
So when can British tourists finally head back to the holiday destination?
International passenger flights to Thailand are currently suspended until May 31.
According to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO): “An Emergency Decree is in place until 31 May.
“It means the Thai authorities have barred all foreign nationals from entering or transiting Thailand except in certain limited circumstances.”
Thailand is now looking to resume tourism after this.
However, holidays to Thailand may well only be an option for certain holidaymakers.
The country is looking to attract tourists who will spend more money.
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The focus may be on high-end jet-setters who can afford longer holidays to the country.
The head of the tourism ministry, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn told local site The Thaiger: “The ministry is working with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to set up a model which will attract a specific group of travellers to visit chosen areas.”
The beloved island resorts of Phuket, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan will likely be among the first to welcome rich visitors with open arms.
“Because those destinations are only reachable via limited gateways, provincial authorities can ensure thorough screening of incoming visitors and provide more comprehensive prevention measures against the potential import of the virus compared to other major destinations, such as Bangkok, Pattaya and Chiang Mai,” said Ratchakitprakarn.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has said its offices abroad are advertising for holidaymakers who want a longer holiday.
What’s more, four and five-star hotels are promoting packages to their regular guests.
“The outbreak allows Thai tourism to shift its focus to quality tourists rather than quantity,” added Ratchakitprakarn.
TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn has also said new health screening practices for tourists flying to Thailand may be rolled out, reported The Thaiger.
Other proposals include “immunity passports” or risk-free certificates.
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