Samui Plus’s international reopening plan has seen only a fraction of the success of reopening Phuket Sandbox and has been hampered by the grounding of almost all domestic flights in Thailand, with an exception for Sandbox flights. Now, the province that is home to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao will continue the Samui Plus program and expects flights to resume on Wednesday.
Bangkok Airways, which built and owns Koh Samui Airport, normally operates an exclusive flight route between the two islands but had suspended service due to the spread of Covid-19 from August 3 to 16 originally. This suspension was then extended until the end of the month.
Speaking on Friday, Surat Thani Governor Witchawut Jinto said that after much pressure and pleading, the flights were able to resume earlier. Bangkok Airways will offer flights on August 25, 27 and 30 to bring sandbox travelers from Phuket to Koh Samui.
Authorities are hoping to see an increase in the number of international tourists traveling to the islands with these flights, and the launch of the Sandbox 7 + 7 expansion plan which allows travelers to spend 7 days in Phuket, then their second 7 days in locations. selected in the 2 neighboring countries. provinces of Phang Nga and Krabi, or travel to the Gulf of Thailand islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.
The Samui Plus program has so far seen only 257 people travel from the Phuket Sandbox and has reached a total of 400 travelers since reopening, but the governor said more than 2,100 hotel nights have been booked from here November with 168 confirmed visitors coming from France, Germany, UK, USA and Austria mainly, as well as Thai travelers. The average hotel reservation is almost 13 nights.
Meanwhile, Samui was grappling with bars apparently allowed to open unrestricted despite a nationwide ban, with a group from the Black Bamboo Club infecting more than 170 people. An illegal party that saw 24 people arrested yesterday at Villa Lamborghini Koh Samui has already resulted in 2 Covid-19 infections today, as well as an infection of a Samui Plus traveler and 7 other local infections.
SOURCE: National Bureau of Information of Thailand
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