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Hua Hin aims to reopen to international travellers October 1

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Hua Hin aims at reopening October 1. (via Wikimedia)

Following in the intrepid footsteps of Phuket and now Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao, the coastal city of Hua Hin has set its sights on reopening to international travellers on October 1. The provincial governor of Prachuap Khiri Khan made the announcement today despite Covid-19 infection numbers growing in the province.

The plan to reopen has been in the works and much anticipated as the coastal resort town that usually generates a fair amount of tourism has struggled to survive during the Covid-19 pandemic with its restrictions and closures. Last week a coalition of bar, nightlife, and entertainment venue workers held a march in protest, demanding financial aid or the ability to reopen after months of continuous restrictions.

The province is setting the ambitious reopening goal to put an estimated 89,000 people back to work and generate 1.2 billion baht in revenue by the end of the year. Under the name “Hua Hin Recharge”, the city hopes to reinvigorate the economy by opening to fully vaccinated international travellers without quarantine, much like the Phuket Sandbox has done. The plan also called for a sealed routes system similar to the Samui Plus relaunch had planned.

One key metric for success is vaccinations levels, with the Hua Hin Municipality currently hovering at about 8% of the population having received vaccines. To reopen October 1, 100% of tourism and service industry employees must be fully vaccinated, as well as 70% of the general public. This may prove a challenge with Thailand’s slow vaccine rollout and scarcity of available doses.

The local government has ordered 50,000 Sinopharm vaccines to supplement the shaky supply from the government and hopes for a combination of government vaccines and private sector supplies to reach the inoculation goal.

Another crucial factor for reopening is containing Covid-19 cases, as Hua Hin struggles with an outbreak and new cases daily. The majority of Covid-19 infections in the area are linked to an outbreak in the Dole pineapple canning factory in the area, accounting for 54 of the province’s 71 new infections reported yesterday.

About two thirds of available Covid-19 hospital beds, including field hospitals, are currently occupied while 969 infections are currently being treated there. In total, the province has seen 3,658 Covid-19 infections and 11 deaths.

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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