Back in June, people were all hoping that the lockdowns will end so that lives would go back to normal. Or at least get back a bit more normalcy compared to days when we’ve had only Maggi Mee for all our meals.
And now, in August, we’re now hoping for something a tad riskier: visiting another country.
One country that depends a lot on tourism has spoken up.
Thailand Reportedly Looking to Allow Tourists In From Oct; Visitors to Wear GSP Wristbands
Over in The Land of Smiles, 20% of its economy is made up of tourism.
That’s a lot of money we’re talking about, and without it, you can bet that the country will be bleeding.
Since late March, the country has closed its borders, and the country has kept COVID-19 under control: it has no locally transmitted case in the last three months, and currently, it has 3,390 confirmed cases and 58 deaths against a population of 69 million people.
That’s goody and opening the borders might open a can of worms, but it seems like they buay tahan liao.
The authorities in Thailand are now looking at plans to reopen its borders carefully.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said, “The virus won’t go away soon and we have to think about the economy. But we can’t just reopen the borders. We have to be careful…Thailand has a limited budget so we have to make sure we can control the disease well.”
It’s reported that they might allow foreign visitors to the country as early as October—which is less than two months from now.
For that to happen, tourists from countries with limited infections might have to wear wristbands with GPS tracking system—kind of like those issued to people who are on SHN in Singapore after they’ve arrived from other countries.
But here’s the thing: they’d still need to be quarantined in a hotel for the first 14 days, so a weekend trip to Bangkok might still be a far-fetched idea.
This would most probably be tested in Phuket, a popular tourists’ attraction.
Just like many countries, Thailand is now promoting domestic tourism, but what they really need is money from other countries (i.e. tourists).
Lest you’ve not been following the news, Singapore is also doing that but for just two countries: New Zealand and Brunei. And visitors from these two countries won’t even need to go through a 14-day quarantine—they just need to take a COVID-19 test.
However, as for us going to other countries, that is still discouraged; according to the current travel advisory, “All Singaporeans and residents of Singapore are still advised to defer all travel abroad. However, essential business and official travel will be permitted under Green/ Fast Lane arrangements.”
So if the advisory doesn’t change and you head to Phuket, in October you’d still have to serve the 14-day SHN and paid for the stay. Also, you’d have to bear the full cost of any COVID-19 if you’re infected overseas.