Thailand reports 2,419 new coronavirus cases, 19 new deaths

New cases took the total number of infections to 81,274

Reuters May 08, 2021

Thailand on Saturday reported 2,419 new coronavirus cases and 19 new deaths, as the country deals with a third wave of infections.

The new cases took the total number of infections to 81,274 and total fatalities to 382 since the pandemic started last year.

The country also plans to waive its mandatory quarantine for vaccinated visitors to its capital Bangkok and top tourist destinations from October, an official said earlier on Friday, in a bid to revive a key industry battered by coronavirus travel curbs.

The new measure means easier access to hotspots like Pattaya, Phang Nga, Koh Samui, Krabi and the capital Bangkok, deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul said, among 10 provinces that will welcome tourists with proof of vaccination against Covid-19 from October 1.

Read more: Thailand reports fourth record daily rise in coronavirus cases this week

Thailand has since a year ago tightened visa processes and required all visitors and returning residents to undergo 14 days of quarantine in government-approved facilities.

The announcement comes as the resort island of Phuket prepares to open to vaccinated travellers in July in a pilot scheme for the broader plan. It is seeking to inoculate most of its residents before the reopening, and before mass vaccinations begin in the rest of Thailand.

Tourism a key source of income and jobs for Thailand. In 2019, it welcomed a record 39.9 million visitors who spent 1.91 trillion baht ($61.32 billion).

That compared with 6.7 million arrivals last year.