Koh Samui ferries prepare to welcome back Chinese tourists

Photo by Naewna.

Koh Samui ferries prepare to welcome back Chinese tourists this weekend. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chinese made up Thailand’s biggest tourist group. Yesterday, China finally allowed its citizens to travel abroad again.

Thai media said yesterday that ferry companies in Koh Samui’s Angthong sub-district were preparing their ferries to accommodate tourists travelling to Koh Samed, Koh Pha Ngan, and Koh Tao.

The manager of Lomprayah said the company was preparing for Chinese tourists by cleaning the ferry each time it transported passengers, and preparing hand sanitiser on the ferry.

The manager, Kittisak Thanaput, said he was a bit concerned about Chinese tourists possibly being infected with Covid. However, he said he felt the company was prepared to handle the situation due to the measures it has in place, and its “experience of living with the virus for some time.”

Last week, news broke that more than a quarter of passengers from China landing in Taiwan tested positive for coronavirus. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) in Taiwan reported that over a quarter of the 500 plus travellers who arrived in Taiwan from China returned positive Covid test results, reported focustaiwan.

Several countries have rushed to impose restrictions on travellers arriving in their respective countries from China after Beijing announced it will open its borders to international travellers and relax restrictions yesterday.

As Chinese tourists make their way to the ‘Land of Smiles,’ the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has recently announced a set of rules that will apply to all non-Thai arrivals between January 9 and 31.

According to the CAAT, non-Thai passengers who are 18 or older must present documentation proving that they have received at least two vaccines. Those who are not vaccinated must provide a doctor’s letter explaining their exemption, or proof that they have recovered from Covid in the past six months. The CAAT issued an updated Notice to Airmen (NOTEM) to all airlines, detailing other entry requirements as well.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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