Phuket Marine Deaprtment Acting Chief Nachapong Pranit confirmed that the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has granted permission for tourists aboard overseas yachts to dock in Thailand.
A subsequent announcement from the Marine Department confirmed that yachts can be moored for quarantine in two areas of Thailand – The Ocean Marine Yacht Club in Chonburi and Ao Por in Pa Khlok, Phuket.
The area in Phuket normally used for yacht mooring is located about 6.2 km southeast from Ao Por pier and 2km east of Koh Naka Noi. The area has a depth of over 10 metres and is large enough for more than 100 yachts.
At this stage, the Marine Department stated it has not received any requests from any yachts to moor in Phuket. However, following discussions with the yacht tourism agency, they did confirm that more than 30 yachts, predominantly from Singapore, Malaysia and fellow South Asian countries, have expressed interest in coming to Phuket.
Mr Nachapong further explained that tourists aboard the yachts will have to quarantine themselves on-board for the required 14 days. Navy from The Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command, based on Cape Panwa, will monitor the yachts to ensure they remain in the allocated area and will track them by Automatic Identification System (AIS).
After the quarantine period aboard the yacht has elapsed, and assuming the subsequent tests are negative, the tourists will be allowed to moor the yacht at the pier of their choice and travel within Phuket in the same manner as those that arrive on the island via air travel.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Phuket received approximately 1,300-1,5000 yachts per year.