Thailand will allow foreign tourists to go to for longer stays from October, a senior official said on Friday, as the government tries to revive a key economic sector that has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Tourists will need to stay for a minimum of 30 days, with the first 14 days in quarantine in a very limited vicinity of their hotel, before they can visit other areas, Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters.
The announcement comes after authorities suspended plans to create ‘travel bubbles’ with partner countries because the number of coronavirus cases in Asia rose.
Visitors will have to take two coronavirus tests during quarantine before they’re ready to travel to the rest of the island, Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, said on Thursday.
Staff will also need to stay within the hotel, he added.
Visitors will need to take a further test and remain within the province for another week before they can visit other parts of the country.
Thailand has gone nearly three months without a confirmed case of local COVID-19 transmission. it’s recorded over 3,300 cases.
The government’s coronavirus taskforce on Friday extended a state of emergency for an additional month until the end of September to control the outbreak.
The tourism-reliant economy has been battered by the collapse of worldwide travel as infections spread.
Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy shrank 12.2% in the second quarter from a year earlier, the worst contraction since the 1998 Asian crisis because of the pandemic impact.
The country expects to receive 8 million foreign tourists this year. By comparison, it had a record of 39.8 million tourists in 2019.