Picture Thailand beach credit Deepain Jindal on Unsplash
Last week we shared the exciting news that Phuket would be opening to quarantine travel from July and other areas of Thailand would follow in October. Now there are moves to expand the opening process.
There was a notable exception from the list of areas that were listed as being able to reopen for vaccinated travellers without quarantine from October. Bangkok.
Tourism chiefs in the country are increasing calls to add Bangkok to the allowed areas or risk the failure of the scheme.
Traditionally the majority of visitors to Thailand will enter through Bangkok, often spending a few days there before moving on or just as a transit stop.
There are plans to allowed visitors to transit through Bangkok but not allowing people to visit the city may put many people off from travelling. It will also affect visitors to Pattaya as 90% of visitors to the area have started from the capital which is also the nearest airport.
The five provinces that will be allowed to open, as it stands, are Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi, Pattaya and Phangnga in addition to Phuket.
Vichit Prakobgosol, vice-president of the Tourism Council of Thailand has predicted that just 3 million tourists will be able to visit the six opened provinces before the end of the year. If Bangkok is added to that list a further 3 million could be attracted.
Officials on Koh Samui were disappointed when it was announced that Phuket would be the only area allowed to open fully for non-quarantine travel for vaccinated tourists from July.
The popular island destination is now promoting plans to reopen for vaccinated tourists on a modified quarantine basis.
From 1st July travellers will be escorted from Samui Airport to their approved hotel. Initially they will be allowed to leave their room but not the hotel.
On their second day they will be tested for Covid-19. If the results are negative will be allowed to undertake approved activities on “sealed routes” from days 3 to 7. These would include cruises, sunset trips and outdoor spa treatments in areas isolated from locals and other tourists.
From the 8th day they will be able to travel freely around Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.
On day 15 they would take another test and, if negative, will be allowed to travel to other Thai provinces.
The plans have been approved in principle by the Thai Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.
Plans to reopen Phuket from 1st July have been welcomed on the island although they are expecting numbers to be gradual rather than a rush until further areas open in October.
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