Samui Plus, the scheme to welcome back foreign, fully vaccinated tourists, began today, with the island hoping that visitors will start to boost the battered tourism economy.
Main picture Koh Samui beach scene, credit Anthony Delanoix on Unsplash
Very few tourists are expected in the first few days, the fanfare for the first arrivals witnessed for the Phuket Sandbox are unlikely to be repeated.
Samui Plus will see Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Kho Tao welcoming foreign tourists, quarantine-free, for the first time since March last year. The scheme does however have more restrictions than the Phuket Sandbox.
Tourists can only visit designated areas in their hotel for the first three days. For days 4 to 7 of their visit they can travel within designated routes and on tour programmes. From day 8 they can travel within Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao and from day 15 are allowed to visit other areas of Thailand, subject ot current Covid-19 restrictions.
All arrivals must take a Covid-19 test on arrival. Further Covid-19 tests will be required for on day 6-7 and day 12-13.
The opening has been described as a “soft launch” to test procedures before further promotion is done to attract increasing numbers of tourists to the islands.
Thailand today reported an additional 9,186 new cases.
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