The Minister of Tourism and Sports, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, visited Pattaya today, September 12th, 2021, to discuss the “Move On” reopening plan for the city to allow in foreign vaccinated tourists without a strict quarantine.
The meeting, which included the Chonburi Governor and multiple officials from Pattaya and Sattahip, which are the two areas selected for the “Move On” program, lasted over an hour and was to prepare proposal details for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, or CCSA, in Bangkok this upcoming Friday, September 17th, 2021. The CCSA would need to approve the plan for it to be allowed to proceed forward as early as October 1st. It would also need approval from the Thai Cabinet, chaired by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan O’Cha.
We aren’t going to list every policy or proposal of the Move On plan, other than to state that the basic proposal is the same as we have previously covered and explained. You can read our explanation and question and answers about the plan by clicking here, however, please note it is still only a proposal and could change dramatically when the CCSA debates the plan.
Newly discussed that was not part of the prior proposal we linked above was if the Pattaya “Move On” program would be part of Sandbox 7+7 plan and include Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Surat Thani, Bangkok, Chonburi, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Chiang Mai. Essentially the discussion was centered around if a tourist would be able to spend seven days in one of those locations and then transfer to another, a final decision on this was likely to come after discussion with the CCSA on Friday.
The Tourism Minister also stressed that the plan was a “step” and not the full “reopening” of the gates for Pattaya and that they had to take precautions, matching prior statements from the Pattaya Mayor Sonthaya Khunplume last week where he stated that true “quarantine free” tourism likely wouldn’t take place until early next year, as the “Move On” plan still has many checks and balances. Under the Move on plan, people would be under so-called “sealed routes” which is a term for essentially tours to approved areas and attractions.
Finally, the Tourism Minister reconfirmed that the plan would take place and he was confident that the CCSA would give eventual approval to open Bangkok, Chonburi, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Chiang Mai, although some adjustments and changes to the plan may take place. TPN media notes that each province has slightly different plans based on their own needs and officials but all plans are still only proposals.
We will give more information after the planned CCSA meeting later this week.