Phuket may open to international tourists on October 1 – with conditions attached

PHOTO: William Rouse on Unsplash

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, agrees in principle that international tourists can return to Phuket from October 1. However, in what will come as no surprise, there are conditions attached. Under the Safe and Sealed plan, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn proposes opening a total of 6 regions to international tourists, who will need to undergo a 14 day quarantine period in dedicated areas.

“There is no need to come with a tour group. Individual travellers can visit some provinces, but they have to abide by strict screening rules, as were other groups that were previously allowed. Different hotels that share the same beach within a one-kilometre radius can group together as a sealed zone. This plan will allow tourists beach activities.”

Once they’ve completed their 14 day quarantine period, international visitors will be free to travel around Phuket. However, if they want to travel beyond the province, that will involve another 7 days’ quarantine. A report in the Bangkok Post says all hotel staff will need to stay within the sealed zones. If they do need to travel outside their area, they will need to be tested for Covid-19 and also undergo 14 days’ quarantine.

Phiphat says that while tourists’ movement by air and land is easier to control, he is concerned about sea transport, pointing out that some may use this to violate quarantine requirements. On September 5 and 6, the Transport Minister, along with representatives from the Tourism and Sports, Public Health and Interior ministries, will visit Phuket to examine transport links between the provinces of Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga, with a view to closing potential loopholes.

It’s understood public hearings for other provinces are in the pipeline.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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