Gen Supot, formerly chief-of-staff of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, said the visit was to check the readiness of tourists to be ready to welcome tourists, which will help revitalise the economy and tourism in Phuket and at the national level.
Joining Gen Supot were Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong, Phuket Airport General Manager Monchai Tanode and the heads of various local government agencies, including Immigration, Customs, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket Office and the Office of Disease Prevention and Control Region 11 office in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, which oversees all public health operations in Phuket.
The inspection follows the announcement by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) last Friday that the Test & Go entry scheme will be effectively abolished from this Sunday (May 1) as vaccinated travellers will no longer be required to be tested for COVID-19 on landing.
Likewise, all unvaccinated travellers who provide negative RT-PCR test results taken within 72 hours of departure will also no longer be required to be tested on arrival.
The visit also comes amid growing momentum for officials to abolish the Thailand Pass registration system, which is currently still in effect. The Thailand Pass system has been widely criticised by key tourism figures as the main barrier deterring tourists from wanting to come to Thailand. Officials are now starting to recognise that understanding.
The previous “easing” of COVID entry measures had very little positive effect on the number of tourists coming to the country. The most recent Phuket Reopening Daily Report issued by the TAT, for Tuesday (Apr 26), marked only 1,862 international arrivals at the airport. Of those, 132 “arrivals” were in transit.