Red tape, slow jab rollout delay Pattaya reopening

Red tape, slow jab rollout delay Pattaya reopening

Empty chairs are seen on a beach, which is usually full of tourists, amid fears of coronavirus disease in Pattaya on March 27, 2020. (Reuters photo)
Empty chairs are seen on a beach, which is usually full of tourists, amid fears of coronavirus disease in Pattaya on March 27, 2020. (Reuters photo)

Pattaya City seems unlikely to reopen to tourism on Sept 1 as planned with local businesses blaming the delay on red tape and a sluggish Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

Bun-anan Phatthanasin, president of Pattaya Business and Tourism Association (PBTA), on Saturday admitted the reopening is likely to be postponed.

A special committee will have to consider the reopening plan submitted by the PBTA, a process required before the plan can be sent to the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration's (CCSA) sub-committee for approval, he said.

The committee will comprise various sides including Chon Buri's provincial administration organisation and provincial tourism authorities, he said.

Pattaya City, one of the 10 most popular tourist spots which the government aims to reopen first, is in Chon Buri, one of the areas worst hit by the current outbreak, he said.

An associated plan to get at least 70% of the people in Pattaya vaccinated against Covid-19 before the Sept 1 reopening also appears unlikely to be accomplished either, he said.

Mr Bun-anan said he had no idea when the mass vaccination plan might be achieved.

The PBTA continues working on its part of the reopening plan, including preparing sealed tourism routes for visitors.

Sontaya Khunpluem, mayor of Pattaya City, said the city has ramped up active case finding to get people infected with the virus care and treatment.

Starting Aug 10, a total of 5,196 people have been tested for Covid-19, with 192 of them testing positive, he said.

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