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Thailand postpones plan to reopen cities to tourists until November

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Thailand postpones plan to reopen cities to tourists until November

Thailand has reversed plans to reopen Bangkok and some other major cities to foreign arrivals until November as vaccination coverage falls short of target, a senior official said early this evening.

Several Thai governments said earlier this month that they planned to welcome vaccinated tourists without quarantine in October in major cities such as Bangkok, Hua Hin, Pattaya and Chiang Mai to revitalize the country’s crucial tourism industry.

“The cities we have been targeting have not reached the 70% vaccination rate, so we have to move the date to November,” Governor Yuthasak Supasorn, of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), told Reuters.

Despite being a manufacturing center for the AstraZeneca vaccine, the vaccine rollout in Thailand is struggling to keep up with the application, although Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha promised to speed up vaccinations this afternoon.

So far, 44% of Bangkok residents have received two doses, government data shows. In total, Thailand has vaccinated 22% of the estimated 72 million people living in the country.

Thailand welcomed 40 million arrivals in 2019, accounting for more than a fifth of gross domestic product, but is targeting a million visitors this year.

At least 98% of Thailand’s more than 1.5 million coronavirus infections and 15,753 deaths since April this year have been caused by an outbreak caused by the Delta variant.

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