Surat Thani –
Today, July 15th has marked the kickoff of Samui island reopening to welcome vaccinated foreign visitors under the “Samui Plus Model” project, expecting to generate at least 300 million baht by the end of this third quarter.
Three tourist islands, namely Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Pha Ngan, will be welcoming 11 visitors in a ceremonial welcome flying via Bangkok Airways of the Bangkok-Samui route. The first group of six passengers who originally hail from the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, is scheduled to arrive at Samui island at 11:35 AM., followed by a vaccinated tourist originally from Singapore on the second flight at 4:05 PM. and four more passengers originally from Hong Kong on the last flight at 6:40 PM. All of them are journalists and their families who are interested to participate and witness the Samui Plus Model excursions.
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the Bangkok-Samui routes of Bangkok Airways would be available for three flights per day. A number of 80 bookings have been made so far from July to October, 54 passengers in July, 20 in August, 10 in September, and 17 in October. TAT stressed they expected the program would start off slow but gradually pick up steam as more became confident in the overall measures.
Similar to the Phuket Sandbox, multiple health screenings will be conducted to inspect if the visitors have been vaccinated and have met all qualifications, according to the requirements issued by the Thai Public Health Ministry. All of the procedures, from entering the accommodation to the departure from the island, have been practically planned.
Upon arrival, tourists must stay in accommodations categorized as Alternative Local Quarantine (ALQ) on Koh Samui. After the screening results are proven to be not infected, they are allowed to leave their room, stay within the hotel’s area, and enjoy hotels’ services and facilities, such as restaurants, swimming pools, fitness centers, and beach areas.
On the 4th-7th day, the non-infected tourists are allowed to be accompanied by trained travel company services and travel in designated routes on the island, so-called sealed routes, such as Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park.
On the 8th-14th day, the visitors are able to move from the ALQ accommodations to new hotels that are certified by the SHA+ in Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao. After 14 days, they can travel freely anywhere in Thailand.
A total of Covid-19 3 RT -PCR tests will be performed, on Day 1 of arrival, on Day 6-7, and on Day 12-13, according to the authorities. This is at the tourist’s own expense, which is about 35,000 baht including the ALQ accommodation price for 7 days.
The TAT also estimated that the general income from tourism in all three islands would grow by 20 percent by the end of the fourth quarter and generate at least 300 million baht by the end of this third quarter.
Here is a list of the requirements. Credit Samui Info by Nicha and Thai Tourism Authority for the graphic.
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