For some time now the level of covid 19 infection had been stable and low in Thailand. Mask use is a normal habit for many Thai people and now is almost universaltuniversal playing a part in keeping thing under control. The outbreak has not been totally controlled as in Vietnam and Taiwan but the outlook is positive at the moment.
With this in mind the country may open to international flights again as early as next month, first to business travelers and investors seeking to come to Thailand and there may be a quarantine period.
The troubled Thai national airline has also scheduled flights to resume from n August 1.
These flights will be flying full and not leaving middle seats vacant as had been the case with domestic travel. The airlines objected to distancing measures in board due to it ruching profitably. But, it will still be a requirement to wear a face mask at all times on board the aircraft as expected. Those who refuse will not be allowed on board
This is good news for those hoping to return to Pattaya as the resumption of travel with quarantine restrictions. Is the first step towards a broad reopening. Which everyone is hoping for.
The curfew in Bangkok has also been relaxed. These are further signs that the government considers the outbreak under control. And is seeking the resumption of tourism to support the economy.
We have contacted a number of people who work in Pattaya and returned tot theirhomes in the provinces. Work is hard to come by even though Thailand has an official unemployment near zero, it is difficult to employ the skills that many ladies have in the poorer and non tourist areas such as the North East. For example Som is still waiting at her home with mum and dad.
Meanwhile Pattaya beach and other limited parts of the economy are opened to domestic travelers. Of course this is a more family oriented travel market than Pattaya is famous for but it helps contribute to the survival of hotels and restaurants. Many though are not relieved as they are geared towards foreign tastes such as the many European restaurants, American & British style fast takeaway food etc.
Of course it is concerning to us that even when things reopen the party atmosphere of Pattaya, is restored. If too many businesses are closed, then it will be difficult not to feel a little bit sad and not enjoy the holiday.
One possible hope is that Chinese tourists will return and pump money into the economy as never before. Many condos in Pattaya are Chinese owned. Perhaps the owners would like to check on their investment. Large tour groups however are notorious for not spending money on the local economy having paid a package price to agents in China and Chinese owned business in Thailand.
But the full restoration of Pattaya night life will take some time. Supply will follow demand , and many people in Western countries have been forced to put off their holidays due to economic uncertainty or job loss.