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Is Asia finally turning the COVID corner?

· Travel News,Thailand

Weome back to the travel blog my readers & clients!

As the title suggest, today I have news coming out of south east Asia, and it's the first good travel industry news in a long time from that region of the world.  Hopefully others it will lead to more reopenings in the region.

First lets discuss Thailand.  Thailand has always had some kind of reopening plan in mind, but it always required a 'vacation quarantine' of a week or two, and multi stage testing while in quarantine.  Word is that is changing very suddenly.  The PM of Thailand just days ago announced that the reopening plan would be accelerated to allow fully vaccinated travelers full entry access to Thailand to any international arrival airport, and would be allowed to travel within Thailand quarantine free.  The date of this accelerated reopening to begin is November 1st.

This means it will not be just Phuket that will be allowing entry, as is the case now, but that travelers will soon be able to plan to visit the Koh Islands, Bangkok, and northern places such as Chaing Mai.  Making a Thailand multi destination vacation for clients a possibilty starting next month.

The PM went on to say it would include the USA, UK, some of the EU, Russia, China and Australia in its initial vaccinated quarantine free travel policy.

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Elsewhere in the region Singapore announced it will reopen to US vaccinated visitors in one week.  It's reopening begins on October 19th.  Singapore will require a negative PCR test within 48hrs of departure, and another test on arrival.  Visitors will need to isolate in their hotel until result returns negative, then are quarantine free, though mandatory insurance is required.  While happy to see Singapore reopen, the PCR in 48hr bit is very tough on labs to return results to travelers in time for flight departure.

Moving over to Indonesia, and its tourism mecca Bali.  Suddenly Indonesia has reopened Bali, but only to select countries (and US is not one of them yet).  Inclusions in the announcement were China, S. Korea, UAE, Japan & New Zealand.  It requires those that come to visit a 5 day quaratine in resort, before being allowed to venture offsite in region.  Also note it is only the region of Bali that Indonesia has agreed to reopen to tourism, not the entire country.  The reopening is effective tomorrow Oct 14th, but with the US left out of the reopening plan this really does not concern my clientele just yet.

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Next up we have Vietnam, which a few days released a plan to begin a partial reopening to major tourism parts of the country effective December 1st, but said it will only allow entry from countries it deems low risk, and did not as of yet determine which countries those would be.

Heading out into the South Pacific, we have exotic Fiji, which will reopen to all international vaccinated arrivals as well December 1st.

Lastly across the Pacific Ocean in South America, we have Argentina which has announced it's quarantine free vaccinated reopening to all international visitors effective November 1st.

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