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PM to chair meeting on Thailand’s re-opening as Phuket officials demand clarity

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Flickr/jeiline

The Centre for Economic Situation Administration will today discuss plans for the revival of Thailand’s tourism sector at a virtual meeting chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. Attendees will discuss a future quarantine-free re-opening of 10 provinces considered popular tourist destinations: Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi, Chon Buri, Phuket, Surat Thani, Krabi, Phang Nga, and Buriram. While Phuket is gearing up to re-open to vaccinated tourists from July 1, it’s hoped the 9 other provinces can do so from October 1.

The Bangkok Post reports that in 2019, the combined tourism revenue from these 10 provinces was around 1.5 trillion baht, which is why they’ve been chosen to partake in the pilot re-opening plan, which will be implemented between October 1 and December 31.

Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri says the details of the re-opening will be discussed at today’s meeting. However, just 28 days before Phuket’s re-opening, tourism officials there say they still don’t know the details of the “sandbox” programme. And they add that unless more clarity is forthcoming, the re-opening may not happen. Bhummikitti Raktaengam from the Phuket Tourist Association says government agencies on the southern island are still in the dark about a lot of things.

“The problem is we have been asked a lot lately by interested parties in other countries as to what the exact conditions of this tourism programme are. But we cannot really answer these questions even though there are just 28 days left. If things are still left so unclear, the Phuket sandbox won’t likely happen as planned.”

One of the issues creating confusion is just how long vaccinated tourists will need to remain on the island. While the government previously mandated a period of 7 days, Yuthasak Supasorn from the Tourism Authority of Thailand says this may increase to 14 days as a result of the resurgence of Covid-19 in the Kingdom. However, as with many other things, this has yet to be confirmed.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar


    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 9:03 am

    I’m not thrilled about getting stuck in Phuket for 7 days, 14 is a deal killer. There are so few details and even those are subject to change it makes planning a trip next to impossible.

  2. Avatar

    Malc Thai

    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Phuket dirtbox scheme is getting messy already !

  3. Avatar


    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 9:16 am

    Let’s be realistic. Most tourists hardly leave Phuket. Travelling to Phangna Bay and Phi Phi will be allowed, so where else they want to go? Stop whining.

    • Avatar


      Friday, June 4, 2021 at 9:45 am

      Most people I know yes they like coming to visit from north to the south and no insurance and quarantine because it will be expensive to come to Thailand have to pay quarantine and expensive covid insurance quite people I know they going on the french riviera cheaper, no such thing like insurance and quarantine

    • Avatar


      Friday, June 4, 2021 at 9:52 am

      I don’t think it’s good as European countries getting better ans east Asia is not so good, so how you want to come from the better to the worst, at least if you vaccinated you can come in with no insurance and quarantine and on the other hand most probably for Thai people it will be by the end of the year for vaccine the country

  4. Avatar

    Ian Bromley

    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 9:20 am

    If you plan to come here you had better be prepared for scenes of business destruction. 45% of hotels cannot continue trading after August for financial reasons, likewise for restaurants, bars and other nightlife venues across the nation. So bring lots of reading matter because thats about all you can do.

  5. Avatar


    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 9:38 am

    If will be with quarantine to Phuket tourists not come too much hustle quarantine, insurance etc better all Thailand open in September without insurance and quarantine like normally

  6. Avatar


    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 9:42 am

    Just wonder what are the tourists suppose to do in Phuket and other tourist destinations like Samui etc. Almost everything is shut down for good. Does this government dont realise that. Bars, resaturants, massage places, hotels, resorts etc. Chaweng road in Samui is nothing more then a ghost town today. For me this sandbox BS is nothing more then a waste of money and time for any future tourist. Walk around taking pictures of signs with for rent, for sale and then spend the rest of your holiday realising that this was not worth it at the hotel bored to death and cant wait to get the fakk back home.

  7. Avatar


    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 11:31 am

    if the procedures for entering Thailand remain the current ones on July 1st there will be no tourists in Phuket. too little time

  8. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Clarity? Nobody knows they make it up as they go along.

  9. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 11:51 am

    How TF can you have a “pilot re-opening programme” for ten of the most populous provinces in Thailand, including Bangkok?

    None can be “sandboxed” from the rest of the country, nor would there be any point in even trying, so the “pilot re-opening programme programme” is effectively to re-open the country, with no restrictions for tourists or anyone else, although less than a third of the country are likely to have had one dose of any vaccine, let alone both doses.

    Beyond opening the borders tomorrow, it would be hard to think of anything more stupid and more likely to cause long-term economic and social collapse.

  10. Avatar

    Ron M

    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    No way to stay 14 nights in phuket, most people will cancel their trips and I will be one of them

  11. Avatar


    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    Operation sandbox? It should read ‘operation minefield’. A couple of weeks in Helmand Province would be safer.

  12. Avatar


    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    @EdwardV – Apparently the hotels only have to have 70% of their staff with 2 jabs of the vaccine to comply with the “Health standards” to allow them to re-open?????. That itself is a big no-no to me, no way will i stay at premises anywhere in Thailand were there are possibly 30% of the staff possibly carrying the vaccine without being inoculated. That i would imagine would be a deal breaker for most tourists.

  13. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 12:16 pm

    “Let’s be realistic. Most tourists hardly leave Phuket. Travelling to Phangna Bay and Phi Phi will be allowed, so where else they want to go? Stop whining.”

    Let’s be generous instead, @Joe, and assume you’ve not been following any of the “plans” and have just woken up.

    “Most tourists” visiting Thailand don’t go to Phuket. Just under a quarter did, with a similar number going to Pattaya and double that going to Bangkok (with some obviously going to both).

    The new “plan” is for everyone visiting Thailand to be quarantined on Phuket for 7 – 10 days first.

    Great for Phuket, but far from everyone wants to go there. It’s like the USA telling everyone who wants to go to New York / Yosemite / New Orleans / Los Angeles / Florida etc that they can but first they have to spend 7 – 10 days in Las Vegas.

  14. Avatar


    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    Book your hotel, ICU bed and a ventilator. Sandbox or minefield?

  15. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    “@EdwardV – Apparently the hotels only have to have 70% of their staff with 2 jabs of the vaccine to comply with the “Health standards” to allow them to re-open?????.”

    Sorry to disappoint you, @Me.

    Reportedly it’s now only ONE “jab of the vaccine”.

    … and for other guests at the hotel aged under 17 it’s NO “jab of the vaccine”, and for those aged under 12, no tests.

    Enjoy your stay on Anthrax Island – what could possibly go wrong …

  16. Avatar


    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    @Neriku – “Thailand open in September without insurance and quarantine (like it used to be)?” That is wishing for the moon, and just isn’t going to happen for a long time, possibly for a very long time! Thailand, and the rest of the world has changed, if you haven’t noticed.

  17. Avatar


    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    Only people this will attract are those who have a reason to be in Thailand longer term. Perhaps they have family or a home there. Your average tourist looking for 2 weeks in the sun won’t bother. It will cost you £50 in the taxi from the airport by the time the taxi mafia double prices.

  18. Avatar


    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    I wonder if the Thai government has identified a target of tourists that it wants to attract, the Chinese cannot travel, the Indians at this moment are carriers of a very dangerous variant, they remain Americans and Europeans who, however, are refractory to rules that limit individual freedom especially on vacation.
    With hotel and compulsory insurance, even the most attractive requirement in Thailand, which is the value for money, is no longer valid, it must be added that, as others have said, we would arrive in ghost towns that can no longer offer anything attractive.
    In Europe and America there are many beautiful places to go in complete freedom and especially in Europe with free healthcare.
    Disastrous times for tourism in Thailand, as someone said will we have to wait until 2026 to see it revive?

  19. Avatar


    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    Joe: “Travelling to Phangna Bay and Phi Phi will be allowed” sorry but no. The government rules approved today require travelers to remain on the island of Phuket only for all 14 nights. No day trips to other islands allowed.

  20. Avatar

    Joe Biden

    Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 6:40 am

    Why is Thailand , 700 + yrs still a third world country while Singapore only 50 + yrs is first world country …. Thai thinking , ‘who needs a plan’

  21. Avatar

    sam thompson

    Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 7:25 am

    @luca – agreed and you make many good and valid points……also need to mention the restrictions and curfews in place, the ones which will heavily impact people on holiday e.g. no bars or clubs open [no alcohol], restaurants close by 9.00pm [not allowed to sell alcohol], not allowed to visit other people in their homes/rooms, meet in groups of [no bigger than 4], many businesses closed

  22. Avatar

    Farang in Canada

    Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Here is the procedure for getting a visa from the Royal Thai Embassy in Ottawa (posted on their website):

    1. You need to have a health insurance policy with coverage including COVID of no less than 100,000 USD.
    2. You need to have e-ticket confirmation/flight details from the airline.
    3. You need to book an Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) or Alternative Local (ALQ).
    4. You need to apply for a Certificate of Entry online.
    5. You need to have a test for Covid-19 at least three days before departure.

    And a 14 day quarantine will be required when the person returns to Canada.

    How many people are going to go through all that to visit Thailand in the middle of a wave of infections ?

  23. Avatar

    Bill ONeal

    Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at 2:07 am

    Screwed it up again. 14 days in the rain is out of the question.

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