WORLD Thailand eases COVID-19 restrictions, cuts quarantine period


Thailand eases COVID-19 restrictions, cuts quarantine period


20:09, October 01, 2021

In this Aug. 6, 2020, file photo, a shopper pulls a cart full of clothing at a market in Bangkok, Thailand. (File photo: AP)

BANGKOK, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Thailand has eased some COVID-19 restrictive measures, shortened night-time curfews and reduced the mandatory quarantine period for incoming fully-vaccinated visitors to seven days.

Starting on Friday, massage parlors, sports stadiums, theaters and zoos in the capital Bangkok are allowed to reopen with certain pandemic control requirements.

Bangkok, the epicenter of Thailand's months-long infection surge, has seen its daily tally of new infections fall to less than 1,500 from more than 4,000 six weeks before.

Shopping malls, convenient stores and a number of other establishment are allowed to operate for longer business hours in the city.

In 28 other provinces which have been under maximum control along with Bangkok, restrictions have also been eased, with the night-time curfews being shortened by one hour.

From Friday, visitors arriving in Thailand and having not been fully-vaccinated are subject to a 10-day quarantine period.

There are also easing for visitors to Phuket, a popular resort island and a pilot of Thailand's broader reopening. Phuket Sandbox scheme, which kicked off in July, allows quarantine-free entry of fully-vaccinated foreign tourists.

Starting Friday, fully-vaccinated visitors only need to stay in Phuket for seven days before heading to other parts of Thailand. Previously, they have to stay in Phuket for seven days and another seven days in any of the extension areas including Krabi and Phang-Nga before travelling elsewhere in the country.

The Thai government is planning to waiver mandatory quarantine for fully-vaccinated visitors in some of its top tourist destinations, amid efforts to revive the tourism sector, a key source of the country's economic growth.

The Southeast Asian country on Friday reported 11,754 new COVID-19 cases, rebounding for three consecutive days after falling to a two-month low on Tuesday, and 123 more deaths, according to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

The country is accelerating vaccine roll-out to gear up for the broader reopening. It has administered about 53.7 million doses of vaccines, with more than 28 percent of its nearly 70 million population having been fully vaccinated, according to the CCSA.

Bangkok and 10 other provinces have vaccinated more than 50 percent of their residents, according to data from the Department of Disease Control.

Previously, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration vowed to reopen the city to fully-vaccinated travellers after 70 percent of its residents being vaccinated.

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