Thailand will allow fully-vaccinated travellers into Bangkok and nine other key regions without undergoing any quarantine period from November in a dramatic move to help revive its tourism-dependent economy.
Unvaccinated visitors will face a ten-day quarantine, slightly reduced from the current 14-day arrangement.
In addition to Bangkok, other areas which will welcome double-jabbed jetstetters as of November 1 include popular tourist destinations Chiang Mai, Cha-am, Hua Hin, Krabi, Pattaya and Phangnga.
Thailand reopened resort islands Phuket and Samui to vaccinated travellers in pilot schemes from July, after a high number of vaccine doses were delivered and administered.
The country has previously delayed and adjusted its tourism-reopening program several times due to low vaccination rates and concerns that the easing of rules would enable infections and hospitalisations to surge again.
This latest decision by the virus panel, chaired by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha, are part of its "living with Covid" strategy to restart the economy, while maintaining infections at a level that doesn’t overwhelm Thailand’s health-care system.
The moves come after the pace of inoculations have been ramped up to major population and economic centres, with as many as 1 million doses administered daily in the past week.
Before the pandemic in 2019, Thailand’s tourism sector attracted nearly 40 million visitors annually and generated about US$60 billion per year.
Various plans to ease restrictions on both domestic and international travel, as well as an array of businesses have been hampered by vaccine shortages and clusters of infections in markets and factories.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg