Thailand will lift quarantine requirements for vaccinated travellers arriving by air from the UK and nine other countries from November 1.
Thailand has also been removed from the UK’s ‘red’ list, meaning that travellers will not have to undergo a hotel quarantine upon return to England.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced the news in a televised speech on Monday, stating that the move was needed so as to “not miss the opportunity to entice some of the year-end and new year holiday season travellers”, according to the Financial Times.
Visitors will need to take a pre-departure RT-PCR test and also undergo testing upon arrival in Thailand. The ten countries included on the ‘low-risk, no-quarantine list’ include the UK, Singapore, Germany, China and the US.
Chan-Ocha said that the list will increase by December 1, and that it will become even more “extensive” by January 1.
“I know this decision comes with some risk. It is almost certain that we will see a temporary rise in serious cases as we relax these restrictions.
“We will have to track the situation very carefully and see how to contain and live with that situation, because I do not think that the many millions who depend on the income generated by the travel, leisure and entertainment sector can possibly afford the devastating blow of a second lost new year holiday period”.
Thailand will also introduce measures in the case of the emergence of a “very harmful” new variant of the virus.
This comes after the reopening of Phuket on July 1 to fully vaccinated visitors.
According to the Financial Times, Thailand generates approximately a fifth of its GDP from jobs in tourism and related sectors, and reported a record 40 million arrivals in 2019.
Reuters also reports that Thailand lost approximately $50 billion in tourism revenue last year, which equates to a 82 per cent drop.