10/07/2020, 12.15
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Covid-19, Thai citizens opposed to the reopening of foreign tourism

According to a Nida Poll survey, almost 57% of respondents rejected the "special tourist visa". Fears of entry, both by air and through border crossings. There is also little confidence in the government's ability to prevent the spread of the virus in case of reopening. But Thailand remains among the least affected nations in the world.

Bangkok (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The majority of Thai citizens are against a reopening of international tourism, fearing an escalation of new coronavirus infections that the government of Bangkok has so far been able to limit thanks to a policy of strict control and quarantine.

This is what emerges from a survey carried out by the National Institute of Development Administration (Nida Poll) in early October, on a sample of almost 1500 people around the country, all of ages and levels of education and professional status.

The tourism sector is one of the most important in the national economy and, as in the rest of the world, has been among the most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, with billions of dollars and almost 2.5 million jobs in losses.

In September, the authorities had anticipated a plan to reopen the island of Phuket to foreigners, but it has not yet been implemented due to the prevalence of prudence over the attempt to limit damage to the economy.

The survey developed by Nida Poll focused on the “special tourist visa”, a project that should start tomorrow 8 October and allow long-term stays for foreigners after a 14-day quarantine period. Almost 57% of respondents said they were against it; of these, 40.21% are against it for fear of a second wave of the virus, while around 16% stress that they do not fully believe in the preventive measures developed by the government. On the other hand, 42.26% are in favour of the executive plan because it revitalizes the economy and tourism, by injecting money into the system as long as health provisions are strictly observed.

Only 0.76% of respondents replied that they were not interested or involved in the issue.

The second question concerned the entry routes of the tourism-related virus and whether arrivals by air, by land through border checkpoints or, again by land, from natural border crossings are of greater concern. 50.23% replied that they feared all three types of entry in the same way; 31.11% are more concerned about natural border crossings, 10.54% for flights. Only 4% believe none of these pose a threat to the security of the nation.

Finally, in relation to the question regarding confidence in the government's ability to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the event of reopening to foreigners, 62.61% answered with a sharp "no". 25% maintain "moderate confidence" in the authorities and 11% have "great confidence" in the ability to prevent and trace.

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