Thailand to reopen to vaccinated travelers from 10 nations: PM

Junta leader and PM Prayuth Chan-o-cha in a December 2015 file photo.
Junta leader and PM Prayuth Chan-o-cha in a December 2015 file photo.

Fully vaccinated travelers from 10 nations may travel to Thailand quarantine-free starting Nov. 1, the prime minister said Monday night.

Speaking a few days before his original deadline to fully reopen the kingdom, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha announced the first major steps to dismantling travel barriers that have been up for a year and a half. He only named half of the 10 nations for whom travel would be eased: the United Kingdom, United States, Singapore, China and Germany.

In his televised address, Prayuth also addressed another burning topic: booze. He said all restaurants, bars and entertainment venues would likely be allowed to operate and sell alcohol by Dec. 1.

Four months ago when the kingdom’s health crisis was deepening, he had declared Thailand would need to learn to live with the coronavirus in order to fully reopen by mid-October.

After peaking mid-August, coronavirus infections have tapered off and steadily fallen to about 10,000 new cases per day, still higher than it was at any point prior to July.

Clarification: In his comments, Prayuth fell short of a hard date on fully lifting the booze ban, saying it would be “considered” for Dec. 1.

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