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Koh Samui

Samui tourism official calls for inter-provincial travel ban to flatten the curve prior to July re-opening



PHOTO: Yavor Punchev for Unsplash

The president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui says the island is still pinning its hopes on a July 1 re-opening for vaccinated foreign tourists. Ratchaporn Poolsawadee remains optimistic, despite Thailand now battling a third wave of Covid-19, with Samui reporting 50 infections.

He says vaccines are being rolled out out on Samui, although a number of doses have had to be diverted to Covid hotspots elsewhere in the country. Around 30%, or 25,000 people, have already received 2 doses of the vaccine, with very few side-effects reported. However, the pace may slow as a result of some of Samui’s allocation now being sent to other provinces, in an attempt to curb the spread there. Ratchaporn says that once it receives a further supply of vaccine doses, the island has the capacity to administer 25,000 shots over 5 days, at 4 vaccination centres.

“We firmly believe that the vaccination process will be completed by June which will be in time for the re-opening plan.”

Until then, officials in the southern province of Surat Thani and on Samui itself, are strengthening disease prevention measures and travel restrictions. Ratchaporn is calling on the government to impose an inter-provincial travel ban to halt the spread of the virus. He says doing so would be more effective than closing businesses for 14 days, with the possibility of endless extensions.

The Bangkok Post reports that tourism operators are preparing tour programmes for the Samui Sealed Routes, whereby tourists would travel to sealed beach locations at Tham Rang in Angthong National Marine Park, as well as partaking in wellness activities such as yoga, meditation and spa treatments.

Before embarking on a “sealed tour” however, vaccinated foreign tourists would have to remain in their hotel rooms on the day they arrive. On day 2, they would be required to take a Covid test and, if negative, would be allowed leave the room and use other hotel facilities. From day 4, they would be allowed leave the hotel, with another Covid test on day 7. If the result is negative, tourists can travel around the island as well as elsewhere in the country.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. luca

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    I am sorry to disappoint the expectations of the president of the Koh Samui Tourism Association but even if they manage to vaccinate all the inhabitants of the island no tourists will come as long as there is a 7-day quarantine and the sword of damocles of the covid test of the Thai authorities, the opportunity to squeeze money from the madmen who believe in the government of the dictator is too good

  2. AC

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    I don’t understand what the already vaccinated tourists are allowed to do after two Covid19 testing and four or seven days in a sort of prison hotel. Are they forced to follow like sheeps the nonsense Samui Sealed Tour or are they free to go everywhere in Thailand. Are they supposed to pay 500 bat for those health controls? Any news, please?

  3. Toby Andrews

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    Too risky.
    As I have written before, they could find a tourist infectious by fraud, and then transport aforesaid mug to hospital where the tourist will endure daily operations, to remove money from the tourist’s bank account. In addition the cost of the Thai ambulance to hospital would make even a Phuket taxi driver green with envy.
    And this will happen even if the tourist is fully vaccinated, and had a Covid 19 within 72 hours of travel.
    There is no guarantees that this will not happen and no safeguards.
    Indeed it is likely. I would not believe a Thai if they said the sea was salty.

  4. Mr J.

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 6:25 pm

    If you’ve had the vaccine then that’s it, final. Otherwise it makes a mockery for taking it in the first place if you’re still subjected to all the testing and isolation.
    Sorry Thailand backward thinking officials, if you think this is the resolve for jump starting your tourism, you are totally mistaken….The resorts will remain dead until this all blows over, or the government comes up with a more reasonable and sensible approach.

  5. BJoe

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 8:54 am


  6. BJoe

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 9:03 am

    Tourist coming in vaccinated with the best vaccines to date, but then must still quarantine ? Then subjected to the haphazard Thai testing system administered by personnel vaccinated with suspected “homemade” vaccines of 2nd hand stuff from the CCP ? Who in their right mind would do this ?

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