Surat Thani tweaks provisions for foreign tourists

Surat Thani tweaks provisions for foreign tourists

Surat Thani province has planned to reopen Khao Sok Mountain in Phanom district and Rajjaprabha Dam or Cheow Lan Dam in Ban Ta Khun district for foreign tourists from Andaman provinces by November.

Deputy provincial governor Sakdaporn Rattanasupa yesterday told media that the proposal will be submitted to the provincial communicable disease committee Oct 7, expecting the province will mainly receive tourists from Andaman provinces in November.

In order to proceed with the plan, the Tourism Council of Thailand has asked state authorities to expedite vaccine administrations in Phanom and Ban Ta Khun districts to ensure more than 70% of the population are inoculated.

Mr Sakdaporn said that the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has also proposed to receive tourists from the Samui Plus Model scheme -- which covers Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao -- and will be put in quarantine similar to Phuket Sandbox from Oct 1 onwards. The quarantine period will also be reduced to seven days according to the Covid-19 Situation Administration's resolution.

Despite the reduction of the quarantine period, the scheme seems to have some issues regarding Covid-19 tests, as well as flight and boat schedules for the three islands.

A related meeting will also be held to further review the scheme's regulations as many tourists have lodged complaints about a ban on driving cars.

The issue has been raised since tourists from the 7+7 Phuket extension plan are allowed to drive cars, leading to the comparison of both schemes and some dissatisfaction. In response to the matter, the related meeting has instructed the working committee team to discuss rental cars on the three islands regarding health and property securities, Mr Sakdaporn said.

The meeting also reviewed restrictions on tourists exiting and entering areas.

Tourism Association of Koh Samui has proposed that the Samui Plus platform be able to link with the Samui Health Pass and hospital data which can issue transfers and release forms, he added.

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