Covid figures rise as Chiang Mai prepares to welcome back tourists

The number of Covid-19 infections in Chiang Mai rose further on Monday, as the province was set to re-open to vaccinated tourists next month.

Chiang Mai reported 314 new Covid cases Monday, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), up from the daily number of 191 a week earlier.

The province also saw cases from the Muang Mai Market cluster last week rise from 587 confirmed on Wednesday to a total of 900 by Sunday.

The tourist hotspot is set to reopen all 25 of its districts from November 1, when the national government has said vaccinated foreigners from low-risk countries will be able to visit Thailand without going through quarantine.

Prachon Pratchsakul, the Chiang Mai governor, last Wednesday announced the Charming Chiang Mai project to revitalize the province’s tourism sector.

Provincial public health officials are also stepping up vaccination coverage with a target of inoculating 70 per cent of residents, up from the current 60 per cent.

Fully vaccinated visitors from low-risk countries including the UK, USA, China, Singapore and Germany will be able to bypass the quarantine.

Eligible visitors will be required to provide the evidence of a negative PCR test taken before departing and upon their arrival in Thailand.

High-risk areas of Thailand will be strictly off-limit to visitors and will be identified as red zones for indigenous vaccination acceleration. 

Despite the recent figures for Chiang Mai, Prachon said he expects the province to reopen on November 1 as scheduled to receive visitors and boost the economy. 

He also added 80 per cent of the province’s communities have not yet reported any cases, which are designated as blue zones and considered safe to visit.

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