As the Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus programs continue, Krabi and Phang Nga will also begin welcoming fully vaccinated international tourists in August.
Mr. Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, spokesperson for the Center for Economic Situation Administration (CESA), said Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha had closely followed the Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus programs, and expressed confidence in plans to boost the economy through tourism by gradually reopening destinations that could ensure the health and safety of tourists and locals.
The new cases of COVID-19 in Phuket were cited as being mostly detected among locals, construction camp workers and domestic travelers, with only a small number of cases found among international arrivals.
From July 1 to August 1, 2021, Phuket recorded 14,910 international arrivals under the Sandbox program. Of those, 34 tested positive for COVID-19 and had been sent for medical treatment.
To contain local transmission, Phuket has stepped up screening measures for domestic travelers, from August 3 to 16, 2021. The measures are only aimed at preventing the spread of the disease from other Thai provinces, while the International arrivals under the Sandbox program can still enter Phuket in accordance with applicable rules and regulations.
Meanwhile, the recent report of 54 new cases in Ko Samui from a group of restaurants have been brought under control and none of the infections were linked to foreign tourists under the Samui Plus program or those who continued their journey. travel from the Phuket Sandbox program.
From July 15 to August 1, Surat Thani recorded 137 international arrivals under the Samui Plus program, with 1 person testing positive for COVID-19. In addition, there were 211 tourists from the Phuket Sandbox program.
Surat Thani has also stepped up COVID-19 control measures, effective from the last week of July until further notice, to protect the âSamui Plusâ model.
Krabi and Phang Nga are expected to reopen some areas during this month on a 7 + 7 model. This will allow foreign tourists under the Sandbox program to reduce the mandatory stay in Phuket from 14 to 7 days, after which an additional 7 nights can be spent in Krabi (Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai and Railay Beach) and Phang Nga (Khao Lak and Ko Yao).
The 7 + 7 model aims to provide international tourists with more options to visit multiple destinations during their trip to Thailand. Krabi and Phang Nga are ideal for this given their proximity and ease of access from Phuket.
For Phang Nga, Khao Lak can be reached in 1.5 hours by car, while Ko Yao Noi and Ko Yao Yai can be reached in 30-40 minutes by boat from Bang Rong Pier.
For Krabi, Ko Phi Phi, Ko Ngai and Railay Beach can be reached in 45 to 55 minutes from Rassada Pier.
Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga are declared among the 11 controlled zones or provinces of the orange zone as part of Thailand’s extension of COVID-19 restrictions from August 3 to 31, 2021.