Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha stated that the Government aims to fully reopen the country within the next 120 days.
The statement was made on 16 June 2021 and was televised on the Television Pool of Thailand. It informed the people of the progress of mass vaccination against COVID-19 and Thailand’s roadmap following its recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
In his statement, the Prime Minister said that Thailand had agreed to secure COVID-19 vaccines from six manufacturers, namely Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sinovac, Sinopharm, and AstraZeneca. It had also signed contracts to procure 105.5 million doses of vaccines to be delivered to the country before the end of this year. Additional vaccines will be secured next year, as well.
He reaffirmed that more than 10 million doses a month would be offered to the people. If there are enough vaccines, 50 million people will receive at least the first dose by early October 2021.
The Prime Minister said, “The time has now come for us to look ahead and set a date for when we can fully open our country and start receiving visitors, because re-opening the country is one of the important ways to start reducing the enormous suffering of people who have lost their ability to earn income. I am, therefore, setting a goal for us to be able to declare Thailand fully open within 120 days from today, and for tourism centers that are ready, to do so even faster. The only exception to these guidelines will be if a truly serious situation develops or seems likely to develop, and we will look at those situations on a case-by-case basis.
“I know this decision comes with some risk because when we open the country there will be an increase in infections, no matter how good our precautions. But, I think, when we take into consideration the economic needs of people, the time has now come for us to take that calculated risk. The priorities for our country must now advance to the next level.
“Our national policy must now evolve and we must look on this virus just as we would on the many other diseases that are in the world and with which we must learn to live. We have seen that this virus is not going to go away quickly. We have to come to terms that it will continue to be around in the world and in Thailand for some time. We cannot wait for a time when everyone is fully vaccinated with two shots to open the country or for when the world is free of the virus. We must be ready to live with some risk and just try to keep it at a manageable level, and let people go back to being able to earn a living. That is the policy that I have set.”
Source: The Government Public Relations Department