Covid Threatens Thailand Tourism Reopening

The roll out of re-opening for tourism in Thailand is under threat as the Covid-19 wave continues to spread.

Photo credit Alexandre Chambon on Unsplash

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has confirmed that the planned Phuket 7+7 extension will be delayed until the situation improves.

Phuket will see increased restrictions, including banning entry from other areas of Thailand, to protect the Phuket Sandbox.

Lockdown Extended

The Thai government has extended lockdown measures for a further two weeks from Tuesday. The heaviest restrictions, “Dark Red Zones” have also been extended to a further 16 provinces.

The new measures will see around 40% of the Thai population under Dark Red Zone measures that will see a 9pm to 4am curfew imposed, alongside a range of other restrictions.

The situation is due to be reviewed on 18th August but already an extension to the end of August is being mooted if the situation does not improve.

“If the situation does not improve and is still worrying, the curbs will be extended to Aug. 31.”

Apisamai Srirangsan, spokeswoman for the government’s COVID-19 task force

Thailand today reported an additional 18,027 infections and 133 deaths, bringing the total to 615,314 cases and 4,990 fatalities, mostly from the latest outbreak which began in April.

The provinces being added to the Dark Red Zone are:

  • Ang Thong
  • Nakhon Nayok
  • Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Kanchanaburi
  • Lop Buri
  • Phetchabun
  • Phetchaburi
  • Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Prachin Buri
  • Ratchaburi
  • Rayong
  • Samut Songkhram
  • Saraburi
  • Sing Buri
  • Suphan Buri
  • Tak

Samui Plus

The Samui Plus scheme seems to be more at threat as a dramatic increase in cases has been seen in the last week, following its launch on 15th July.

The increase in cases has been linked to locals and have been traced back to a number of entertainment venues as well as a fitness centre. Just one tourist has tested positive for the virus.

“No one should point their finger at the programme. It’s not right,” he said.

Senee Phuwasetthathaworn, Deputy Chairman of Surat Thani Chamber of Commerce

The Samui Plus scheme was always intended to attract low numbers of visitors, at least initially and by last Friday just 113 had arrived, from the UK, Germany, France, Hong Kong, the US and Switzerland.

Source: Reuters and Bangkok Post

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