Pattaya officials and community leaders applauded Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s announcement that he will seek to reopen Thailand to a select group of foreign tourists Nov. 1 without the need for quarantine.
While many crucial details remain unknown, the vision laid out by Prayut would allow fully vaccinated travelers from ten “low-risk” countries to enter and travel anywhere in Thailand without having to undergo quarantine.
If implemented as outlined by the premier, the plan would trump the “Pattaya Move On” plan for a “sandbox” that would trap tourists in the city for a week.
Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome said the city is ready to welcome foreign tourists, insisting again that 70 percent of the adult population has been fully vaccinated, even though the director of Banglamung Hospital said that goal has not been reached.
Sonthaya added that 100 percent of Koh Larn’s tiny population also is fully vaxed.
“We are confident about the strength of our herd immunity,” Sonthaya said, even though virologists around the world are increasingly in agreement that herd immunity is not possible with a coronavirus.
Sonthaya said the largest group of unvaccinated people left in Pattaya are 4,000 teenage students. Inoculations for kids ages 12-18 who want jabs – or whose parents will allow them – will begin at the end of the month.
Damrongkiat Pinitkarn, secretary for the Entertainment & Tourism Association of Pattaya, also applauded the reopening news and the possibility of reopening bars and allowing alcohol sales in restaurants starting Dec. 1.
He said many businesses would be leery of reopening in November without being able to sell booze legally. It will be wait-and-see if it’s profitable, he said.