Thailand to ease its entry restrictions starting May 1, with analysts expect to boost positive sentiments towards tourism plays.
Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) at the meeting on Friday approved the cancellation of mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival for inbound travelers, effective from May 1 onwards. This means that there will be no more Test&Go for vaccinated arrivals.
According to a post-meeting press conference, the RT-PCR test upon arrival will be replaced with a rapid antigen test. Visitors to Thailand who are not fully vaccinated, however, still have to undergo the RT-PCR test on the fourth or fifth day after their arrival and register for entry via Thailand Pass.
Also, the meeting approved allowing restaurants to serve alcoholic drinks until midnight and reclassifying all red-coded maximum-restricted and orange-coded controlled provinces as high surveillance zones, or yellow zones.
The quarantine period will be decreased to five days for those who are a high-risk contact.
Asia Plus Securities stated that while further relaxation of entry restrictions would be a positive sign for Thailand’s recovery, the economy is still suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been ongoing for more than two years and has left the country facing mounting financial burdens and public debt.
Thailand’s public debt currently stands at THB9.83 trillion, or 60.2 percent of GDP; the government has room to borrow an additional THB1.6 trillion under the new 70 percent GDP ceiling. To keep the economy alive for the remainder of 2022, the government will utilize fewer relief measures and place a greater emphasis on economic and investment stimulus.
Overall, further easing of restrictions is beneficial for country reopening plays, such as tourism (MINT, ERW), tourist destinations (CPN, CRC, MAJOR), and transportation (AOT, AAV).