Surat Thani province to launch “Samui Plus” re-opening model

PHOTO: Anthony Delanoix for Unsplash

From July 15, the islands of Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Pha Ngan embark on the “Samui Plus Model”, to re-open the Surat Thani tourism destinations to vaccinated tourists. Provincial governor Witchawut Jinto has confirmed that preparations are underway, with over 70% of the islands’ residents now vaccinated.

The “Samui Plus Model” will be a local rework of the Phuket Sandbox as a safe way for vaccinated travellers to return to Thailand at this time.

The Pattaya News reports that vaccinated foreign tourists will undergo screening similar to that required by the Phuket sandbox model, including the need to prove their vaccination status. Foreign arrivals will be required to remain on Koh Samui for the first 7 days, with the first 3 days seeing them confined to their hotel or resort.

However, they will be allowed to leave their rooms and use the facilities at their hotel. From day 4 – 7, they can travel on a “sealed route”, to see popular tourist attractions, and from week 2 of their holiday, they will be able to travel freely to Koh Tao and Koh Pha Ngan.

All of the above is subject to them testing negative for Covid-19, of course. They will be required to take 3 PCR tests, the first on day 1, the second on days 6 – 7, and the last test on days 12 – 13. Each test will be at the traveller’s expense.

Overseas arrivals will need to transit through Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and then link to a Bangkok Airways flight into the trio of Gulf islands.

Meanwhile, Ratchaporn Phoonsawas from the Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association says the islands are also ready to welcome Thai tourists.

“We will make sure that Thai nationals who are vaccinated can travel to Koh Samui normally once they present a certificate of vaccination. The scheduled re-opening timeline is also the best season of travel to the Gulf of Thailand, so we have to make sure that everything can proceed according to the plan.”

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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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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