People walk through a crowded alleyway marketplace as Thailand imposed a state of emergency to combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 27 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ALLISON JOYCE
People walk through a crowded alleyway marketplace as Thailand imposed a state of emergency to combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 27 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ALLISON JOYCE

Thailand has lifted its Covid-19 travel ban on all countries, including SA, as of Friday.

Chiravadee Khunsub, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said they were happy to welcome South Africans to their shores.

“Thailand has always loved to host guests from around the world and with the lifting of travel restrictions, we can do so once again. We look forward to offering visitors the best experiences, including jet-skiing off the coast, luxurious spa days and the perfect dining spots, while still following the necessary Covid-19 safety protocols,” said Khunsub.

On Thursday, SA was moved to alert level 1 for the first time since the end of May.

Fully vaccinated foreign tourists visiting Phuket, Surat Thani, Phang-Nga and Krabi now only need to stay in one place for seven days before being able to move on to other parts of Thailand.

Meanwhile, the recent decision by the UK to keep SA on the red list was met with anger, particularly from the government and scientists, and in the context of falling Covid-19 cases in SA.

Anyone who travels through or from a country on the red list is required to quarantine for about two weeks upon arrival in the UK, irrespective of whether they have been vaccinated.

In his address to the nation on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was optimistic that the situation would soon change, largely because the Beta coronavirus variant, which the UK based its travel restrictions on, was actually not the dominant virus in SA. The Delta variant is dominant in both countries.

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