According to Bill, Thailand has performed very well in orchestrating its response to COVID-19, especially when compared to the situation in Europe and the US. The lockdown measures were implemented quickly and effectively in ways that some other countries have been unwilling to try, and as a consequence the Kingdom is now ready to re-emerge. The task ahead is to figure out how to save the economy.
Opening up the economy is now the goal, with Minor hoping to see local tourism picking up in the third quarter, with international travel returning slowly in the fourth quarter. Initially that should start with bilateral agreements between countries with low numbers of virus cases. Of course, a 14-day quarantine period doesn’t work for tourism, so agreements on visa-free travel between ‘safe’ countries are the way to go. To look at the example of the Maldives, Bill believes the country is suffering economically right now as everyone is confined to their own island, with no travel permitted, but by August things may be ready to open up. Virus cases remain very low.