Bangkok governor says city will not reopen on 15th October

Thailand has been discussing the reopening of the country for a while now. However, it wasn’t until the past month that authorities officially announced the dates for the reopening of the nation’s capital – the city of Bangkok.

Initially set for 1st October 2021, Bangkok’s reopening has been postponed to 15th October 2021. Today on 17th September 2021, however, the capital’s governor, Mr. Governor Aswin Kwanmuang, provided a new update. He stated that Bangkok will not be opening on 15th October 2021.

Here’s a recap of the city’s reopening plans, and a record of the multiple dates floated so far.

Recent articles by The Smart Local, Thailand:

Governor claims Bangkok will not reopen on 15th October 2021

Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang has stated that the capital will not reopen its borders to fully vaccinated tourists due to concerns about safety.

The declaration came on 17th October 2021, according to reports by Thai PBS World.

Stating that the administration should put the safety of its people first and foremost, Governor Kwanmuang said that at least 70% of Bangkok’s population should be vaccinated before the city is opened to foreign visitors.

Bangkok Governor projects to meet 70% vaccinated goal by 22nd October 2021

Contrary to previous reports, Governor Kwanmuang denied confirming that the city’s borders would open on 15th October 2021.

He projects that Bangkok’s inoculation target could be met by 22nd October 2021 if more doses are allotted to the capital by the Royal Thai Government.

He further stated that the final decision on Bangkok’s reopening will be made by City Hall after they’ve consulted with the relevant authorities.

For context, Governor Kwanmuang’s announcement contradicts statements made by the Tourism and Sports Minister just two days ago – that fully vaccinated international travellers coming into the capital will not need to undergo quarantine from 15th October 2021.

Contradictory statements on Bangkok’s reopening

Furthermore, the reopening date publicised by the minister is later than the first official announcement made by Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) on 6th September 2021. TAT originally stated that Bangkok was projected to reopen on 1st October 2021.

Governor Kwanmuang’s reasoning behind the postponement of Bangkok’s reopening echoes those made by the Tourism and Sports Minister during a press conference on 15th September 2021.

Both officials have stated that at least 70% of the city’s population should be vaccinated before considering reopening the borders to vaccinated international travellers.

Concerns about the capital’s large population and the constant movement within Bangkok as well as between other provinces were weighed against the economic benefits of reopening to foreign visitors.

The Minister and Governor have also shown one more concurring statement. They both shared that Chiang Mai, Phetchaburi, Phrachuap Khiri Khan and Chiang Mai are still on track to reopen on 1st October, should the CCSA and cabinet give the green light.

The rashomon effect on Bangkok’s reopening

All eyes have been on Thailand with the recent buzz about the nation’s reopening. While both locals and foreigners are on the edge of their seats for a final verdict on the reopening dates of different provinces, it appears we still have to wait.

While the wait can be agonising, especially for those who are anxious to return to their families, we can take comfort in the one thing that all these contradicting announcements have in common. Every official has stated they will prioritise the people’s safety above all else.

Though we may need to wait a little longer to find out, at least we know that the official decision will ultimately be made with our safety in mind.

Cover image adapted from: kmarius via Pixabay

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