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Thailand Announces End to COVID-19 Lockdown
28 May 2020 | Written by Chris Alexander

Thailand has confirmed that from 1st July 2020, all existing COVID-19 lockdown measures will be lifted, including international flight restrictions. The news was confirmed just now in a statement by the government’s National Security Council chief.

NSC secretary-general Gen Somsak Rungsita confirmed the end of restrictions means a complete reopening of the country: “this includes interprovincial and international travel, as well as the end of emergency decree and curfew,” said the minister in a statement earlier this evening (28/5).

All tourism attractions and local businesses will be allowed to reopen from July onwards, when the emergency decree – including the nightly curfew – will also come to an end. A third easing of lockdown measures and business restrictions is expected to be announced before then. Preparations for Thailand’s grand reopening will begin next week.

To ensure a safe transition to normal operations, COVID-19 safety measures will remain in place as part of the new normal for travellers in Thailand for the foreseeable future. This is likely to include the continued use of PPE, screening and social distancing measures. Official protocols are yet to be decided by the government.

“Authorities will have serious discussions because after the emergency decree ends, other laws will be used instead,” said General Somsak Rungsita, who also stressed that people’s cooperation remains vital. “This concerns the use of face masks, social distancing, hand wash and limited activities. As long as the disease is spreading worldwide, we will have to fight against it for a while,” he added.

For now, Thailand will remain under emergency decree until the end of June. International flights will also remain locked out until then. According to the Bangkok Post, a third phase of re-openings is scheduled to be implemented from 1st  June onwards, with an announcement expected to be made to that effect tomorrow.

The planned reopening of Thailand’s tourism sector follows similarly uplifting news from Southeast Asia this week, where Vietnam also confirmed it will commence issuing e-visas to international visitors from July onwards. With Thailand and Vietnam ready to welcome tourists back after a long break, tourism providers in the region can finally begin to raise the shutters and rejoice. 

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