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Buriram Moto GP cancelled again - Thailand's 120 day reopening plan teeters on the brink


webfact
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Picture: Thai Rath

 

Plans to reopen Thailand within 120 days look increasingly forlorn after one of the leading sporting events in the country was cancelled yet again, notes ASEAN Now. 

 

The Buriram Moto GP motorcycling race slated for October will be postponed until next year at a date to be announced later.

 

Thailand's minister for tourism and sports said this was because of the Covid-19 situation in the country and the fact that foreign visitors would be unlikely to come. 

 

Thailand had previously announced plans to open ten provinces to foreign tourism including Buriram. The plans are only making limited progress in Phuket, the Surat Thani islands, Phangnga and Krabi.

 

The cancellation of the Moto GP - a big money spinner the last time it was held in 2019 - represents a big blow to Thai PM Prayuth Chan-ocha's reopening plans.

 

These plans - considered optimistic by many - now appear in tatters. 

 

The Moto GP was cancelled in March last year and rescheduled for October this year.

 

In 2019 there were 226,655 visitors to the grand prix that generated 3.1 billion baht in income. Foreign visitors numbered 59,525, reported Thai Rath.

 

Pipat said that with infection in the country at its current level the safety of locals as well as foreign visitors could not be guaranteed. 

 

Holding the event behind closed doors was not an option for the organisers, he said, saying that everyone concerned will be meeting to decide the way forward. 

 

Wider reopening to foreign tourism and the safety of both foreigners and locals is also coming under increased scrutiny,  suggests ASEAN Now.

 

Pattaya - where plans are still in place for an October "sealed route" reopening - has also just entered "deep red zone" and curfew status. 

 

Bangkok has already been in effective lockdown and nighttime curfew for a week. 

 

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-- © Copyright ASEAN NOW 2021-07-19

 

- Whatever you're going through, the Samaritans are here for you

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7 minutes ago, webfact said:

Plans to reopen Thailand within 120 days look increasingly forlorn

So it looked already when the first letter of that plan was written.

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6 hours ago, webfact said:

Holding the event behind closed doors was not an option for the organisers, he said, saying that everyone concerned will be meeting to decide the way forward. 

2024... when most of Thailand will be inoculated.

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