A much-talked-about plan to reopen Phuket to international tourists is set for a rebrand and expansion. The plan, formerly known as the “Phuket Model”, is proposed to be re-named “Special Tourist Visa”, and will now cover all of Thailand. But, in its latest incarnation, the model will only allow tourists from “approved countries” to be involved.
Apparently, the Phuket plan encountered some opposition, and a lot of confusion, and so, officials have decided the best solution to all of that is to expand it nationwide.
Tossaporn Sirisamphan, from the National Economic and Social Development Board, says the plan will now be rolled out to the entire country (it’s not clear if the “entire country” wants it or will be involved in the decision).
“The Phuket Model has caused confusion and opposition… Therefore, we’ve adjusted the plan to allow foreign tourists to travel at large, since some of the provinces such as Bangkok have the capability to handle foreign tourists.”
Prior to this, the scheme was aimed at Phuket only, as a pilot model in a controlled environment, with tourists having to carry out an additional 7 days’ quarantine on top of the mandatory 14, if they wished to travel beyond the province. That requirement appears to have been scrapped, at least for today.
Tossaporn says the revised plan has the backing of Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, adding that foreign tourists admitted under the scheme will be subject to the same health restrictions as repatriating Thai nationals.
“They will undergo the same measures as Thais returning from overseas. After spending 14 days in quarantine and being cleared of the virus, they can go anywhere they wish.”
The government has yet to decide which countries these hotly-anticipated tourists will come from, with Tossaporn saying the Tourism and Finance Ministries will work together to come up with a list of qualifying countries.
Meanwhile, Tourism Authority of Thailand governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, says the Kingdom must accept the possibility of new Covid cases once the borders are re-opened, insisting the impact can be minimised through proper risk management.
SOURCE: Khaosod English
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