Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that Thailand will be fully open to visitors in 120 days or by mid-October, even if Thai citizens do not receive two doses of vaccination, in order to bolster the Thai economy, which has been hampered by the coronavirus outbreak since early last year. Phuket will be a test site for easing restrictions and accepting visitors under a sandbox model. Therefore, Asia Plus Securities (ASPS) suggests keeping an eye on 7 Reopening Plays.
ASPS stated that the SET Index is undergoing correction but probably does not fall below 1,600 pts. ASPS is still OVERWEIGHT for reopening plays, including 1) airline sector: Airports of Thailand (AOT) and Asia Aviation (AAV). 2) Transportation: Bangkok Expressway and Metro (BEM), BTS Group Holdings (BTS) and Don Muang Tollway (DMT).
3) Tourism and hotel: Minor International (MINT), The Erawan Group (ERW) and Central Plaza Hotel (CENTEL). 4) Entertainment and media: Major Cineplex Group (MAJOR), VGI and Plan B Media (PLANB). 5) Retail and property: CP All (CPALL), Central Retail Corporation (CRC), Berli Jucker (BJC), Home Product Center (HMPRO), DOHOME, SPVI and Central Pattana (CPN).
6) Bank: Kasikornbank (KBANK) and Bangkok Bank (BBL). 7) Leasing: Muangthai Capital (MTC), Srisawad Corporation (SAWAD) and Ngern Tid Lor (TIDLOR).
On Wednesday, June 16, 2021, the Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that Thailand will be fully open to visitors in 120 days or by mid-October, even if Thai citizens do not receive two doses of vaccination.
“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 an 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,” said the Thai PM.
“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 at 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.”
At this time, Thailand now has six suppliers of vaccines to Thailand including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, as well as Astra-Zeneca, Sinovac and Sinopharm. Thailand expects 105.5 million doses to be delivered this year, which will be ahead of its target for vaccine supplies in 2021.
The full opening will allow visitors who are fully vaccinated to enter the country without quarantine or other inconvenient restrictions. In the meantime, Thais travelling abroad who are fully vaccinated must also be able to return home without confinement in quarantine.
Moreover, places of work and business must be able to operate normally and without blanket restrictions, and domestic travel, too, must be without blanket restrictions. The only exception to these guidelines will be if a truly serious situation develops or seems likely to develop, and Thailand will look at those situations on a case-by-case basis.
“To get to our target of opening the country in 120 days, we will pilot with Phuket to relax some restrictions and receive visitors using a ‘sandbox’ model. I have accelerated this matter for it to be considered and decided at next week’s Cabinet meeting,” the Thai PM added.