Thailand is continuing to look at opportunities to reopen to foreign tourists but the schedule is likely to be slower than was originally planned.
Main picture Chiang Mai, Thailand, credit Cheese Yang on Unsplash
Earlier this year Thai Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, announced a 120 day reopening plan that would see all major Thai tourist destinations reopened by mid-October.
It was always an ambitious timetable and many in the country doubted that it was possible. It seems increasingly likely that the doubters were correct.
Destinations have been reopening in the country however.
Phuket reopened, quarantine free, on 1st July and welcomed 14,000 foreign tourists in the first month. The Samui Plus scheme followed for three islands in Surat Thani province on 15th July but with much, much, lower numbers due to increased restrictions in place.
Earlier this month the Phuket Sandbox extension launched allowing visitors to spend their first 7 days in Phuket followed by a further 7 days in approved areas in either, Samui, Krabi or Phang Nga.
Now the Bangkok Post is reporting that the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is preparing to request that the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) allow further areas to reopen.
Full details are yet to be released and may be subject to change. It is hoped that some areas will be allowed to reopen in September but October may be more realistic for others.
Hua Hin Recharge
Following the example of the Phuket Sandbox, Hua Hin hopes to offer a quarantine-free experience within the extended Hua Hin area.
Fully vaccinated visitors, with a negative Covid-19 test will be able to travel to Hua Hin and travel freely in the area for 14 days, after which they would be able to travel to other areas of Thailand.
Travellers would need to wait in their hotel room until the results of their initial PCR test, taken on arrival, comes through. They would then need to take a further two tests during their 14 day stay.
As in Phuket they would need to stay at a SHA Plus accredited hotel for at least the 14 days of their stay.
Charming Chiang Mai
A one day hotel quarantine looks likely and travellers would be restricted to pre-booked excursions and would not be allowed to travel freely outside of their hotel.
Visitors would need to take an initial PCR test on arrival followed by a further test (for 5 day tour packages) and two tests (for 14 day tour packages).
Pattaya Move On
An initial 6 day quarantine in an approved centre will be required before travellers can engage in pre-booked, approved tours from day 7.
Three PCR tests will be required during a 14 day stay.
Popular tourist island of Koh Lan in Chon Buri province is hoping to reopen soon after leaders on the island claimed that they were ready to welcome back tourists now that around 70% of the population were vaccinated and resorts and tourist locations were ready to reopen.
Approval has yet to be given for the plan or a timetable of reopening announced. The plan however would require passenger boats from PAttaya so may depend on how quickly Pattaya Move On can reopen.
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