Bangkok will accept fully vaccinated international tourists from Oct. 15, a two-week delay from the initial reopening date slated for Oct. 1.
This followed a discussion between the Thai minister for tourism Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn and Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang on Sep. 15 regarding Bangkok's readiness to accept tourists, the Bangkok Post reported.
Ratchakitprakarn said that the delay was to give time for Bangkok residents to achieve 70 per cent vaccination coverage.
As of now, only 37 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated, while 33 per cent are waiting for the second shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The minister also pledged to bring at least one million international tourists to Bangkok this year, Bangkok Post added.
More cities in the pipeline
Besides Bangkok, the report added that other tourist destinations such as Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin and Cha-am are also in the pipeline to accept international travellers.
Under the sandbox programme, travellers were not required to be quarantined, but had to stay in the sandbox locations for at least 14 days and before visiting other destinations in Thailand.
Ratchakitprakarn said that if the Thai health ministry reduces the quarantine period from 14 days to seven days, tourists in any sandbox programme can travel to any other parts of the country from the eighth day onwards.
"The quarantine-free entry via Bangkok will benefit the whole country as tourists usually visit Bangkok as their first destination before travelling to other provinces," he said.
"With the 7+7 extension plan, tourists can stay in the capital city for just seven days and choose another 8 provinces in the pilot reopening programme as their second choice (of destination)," he added as reported by the Bangkok Post.
Follow and listen to our podcast here