Thailand to lift most coronavirus restrictions

Authorities in Thailand will lift most coronavirus restrictions on October 1, including a state of emergency imposed since March 2020.

Officials made the announcement on Friday, citing the rising vaccination rate and declining number of serious cases.

They say overseas arrivals will no longer need proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

They also say a visa-free period of stay from countries and territories including Japan will be extended from 30 days to 45 days.

Thailand had about 40 million foreign tourists a year before the pandemic. The figure last year was down to about 400,000.

Health authorities are urging people to continue taking anti-infection measures, such as wearing face masks in crowded places.