Deputy government spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek was quoted by local media as saying on November 13 that vaccine rollout in the provinces of Songkhla, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat has been accelerated, adding that the aim was to deliver at least one jab to more than 60 percent of the population.

A student in Pattani receives COVID-19 vaccine shot.

The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) is planning to reopen Sadao checkpoint in Songkhla, Sungai Kolok in Narathiwat, Betong in Yala and Satun’s Wang Prachan checkpoint by December 16 in a bid to improve the tourism sector in the South, Ratchada said.

So far, Thailand has opened 46 border gates, while the remaining 51 have still been closed due to COVID-19.

Two weeks after the country reopened, the private sector is seeing signs of tourism recovery despite lower-than-expected arrivals of international tourists.

To help cash-strapped operators back on their feet, businesses are urging the government to lessen entry regulations, further relax COVID-19 curbs and roll out financial packages in a bid to boost the industry.

By the end of this year, Thailand will have procured 155.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, far exceeding the 100-million doses target the government had set in April.

The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has set a new target to be achieved before year-end – 80 percent of the population must have got at least the first shot and 70 percent their second shot.

Tourism contributed 3,000 billion THB (91.5 billion USD) to the Thai economy in 2019 and 300 billion THB in 2020.

The country expects 10-15 million tourists in 2022 with revenue of 1,500 billion THB (45.7 billion USD).

Source: VNA