Koh Samui to ease domestic entry restrictions

Donsak Pier / Stock photo via flickr

It’s going to be a little bit easier for domestic travellers to enter Koh Samui… at least for those with the vaccine. Starting Friday, those who are fully vaccinated and arriving to the island off the Surat Thani coast domestically will not need to undergo a Covid-19 test.

Koh Samui Governor announced the easing of the domestic entry requirements. The island, which has had a slow reopening to international travellers under a programme similar to Phuket’s “Sandbox,” is heavily reliant on tourism. Easing the restrictions for domestic travellers is intended to attract more visitors to the island.

The new requirements will be that any visitor arriving who has not had two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will have to present a negative result from a Covid-19 antigen test that was taken within seven days of their arrival. Fully vaccinated visitors will not need to show any test results.

All visitors regardless of vaccination status will have to register online to get the Samui health pass, and will need to download the Mor Chana app in order to use hotels and other tourism services on the island.

Koh Samui Governor Witchawut Jinto announced that the relaxed entry requirements goes along with the “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” (We Travel Together) scheme. This is a programme for domestic tourists that is intended to stimulate the tourism industry on Samui by allowing visitors to pay only 60% on room rates, while the government covers the other 40%.

The program includes any accommodations priced at 3,000 baht per night and under. It was originally available to be used for five consecutive nights, but now the programme has been extended to 10 nights. Visitors also receive an e-voucher that can be used as cash around the island. A 900 baht voucher can be redeemed Monday-Thursday, and 600 baht voucher can be used over the weekend, Friday to Sunday.

According to Witchawut, the island has had 1,125 foreign visitors arrive since the launch of the Samui Plus Sandbox programme on October 9th. These tourists include 181 French nationals, 181 Germans, 128 British, 82 Americans and 59 Dutch. All together, the visitors have accounted for a total of 13,059 nights rented in hotels.

Additionally, a total of 1,293 foreign tourists came to Samui after completing the Phuket Sandbox programme.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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