Thailand feels Christmas season is in jeopardy

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) deputy governor for international marketing, Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, has said there was “no talk of a timeline issued for reopening the country to inbound or outbound leisure travel”.

He said he doesn’t expect Thailand to welcome tourists until at least 2021. He noted that discussions about potential re-openings had been very “risk averse”.

“The Christmas period, usually the high season, is in jeopardy and I’m looking horribly even to Chinese New Year in February, which is an iffy proposition at best now. Unfortunately, this is not a rosy picture.”

Earlier plans for travel bubbles, with similarly low-risk countries have also been shelved at the moment as some of the potential countries have had recent spikes, including Vietnam, Australia (mostly Melbourne), Japan, and just today, New Zealand.

Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority says there will be no further re-opening of the Kingdom’s borders for the time being. Director-General Chula Sukmanop says that any decision to re-open to international air traffic needs to be taken in conjunction with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Meanwhile the list of groups allowed back into Thailand, under strict health measures, has been expanded at the start of August from just diplomats and UN officials, to business people, investors who have an agreement with the government, film crews, some migrant workers, medical tourists, exhibition personnel and the holders of Thailand Elite visas (although there are restrictions on the total numbers). All passengers, including Thais, must spend 14 days in state sanctioned quarantine.