Two weeks in the sandbox for visitors might not sound like much fun but if that sandbox happens to be Krabi or Koh Samui it might just be tolerable. Assuming you have the time
Tourists hoping to visit Thailand in the near-ish future will need to be prepared for a minimum two-week stay if the latest proposals are adopted. Following talks between Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the tourism and sports minister and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha it was suggested that visitors could be allowed into five designated areas; Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, Pattaya and Chiang Mai.
According to an article in the Bangkok Post, after two weeks they would be required to get a swab test to ensure they are virus free. If given the all clear they would be free to travel anywhere in the Kingdom. The article wasn’t clear on whether tourists would be expected to remain within the confines of their resort or if they will be allowed to travel around the immediate vicinity during that 14-day spell.
Only travellers from countries in a pre-approved travel bubble scheme will be allowed to visit. Though with recent covid-19 spikes in places that had previously been earmarked for inclusion that list appears to be shrinking.
Mr Phiphat said he still hopes to launch the travel bubble scheme in tandem with low-risk countries in August, as domestic tourism alone cannot fully revive the battered tourism industry. “It is important to bring inbound visitors to help fill a big vacant spot in tourism revenue and support operators,” he said. “But they have to travel with the new practice instead.”
Talks, however, are ongoing and final decisions are not expected until a later date.
See also: Bangkok on Foot
At the time of writing Thailand has lasted forty-seven days without a local transmission. It’s only new cases have come from Thais returning from heavily infected places. These have all be caught and isolated by the country’s strict quarantine procedures.
Photo: Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai by Panupong Roopyai via Wikimedia Commons