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Opening of new sandbox provinces confirmed

KOH SAMUI: The three southern provinces of Surat Thani, Krabi and Phangnga will start accepting people flying in from abroad under the sandbox formula on Tuesday (Jan 11).

CoronavirusCOVID-19tourism
By Bangkok Post

Sunday 9 January 2022, 03:58PM


There are no overseas tourists to be seen on Koh Samui in Surat Thani on July 1, 2021. The government hopes the Surat Thani sandbox will bring them back. Photo: Dave Kendall / Bangkok Post / file

There are no overseas tourists to be seen on Koh Samui in Surat Thani on July 1, 2021. The government hopes the Surat Thani sandbox will bring them back. Photo: Dave Kendall / Bangkok Post / file

The date was confirmed in the announcement of the Royal Gazette published yesterday (Jan 8), reports the Bangkok Post.

It said travellers can enter Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui in Surat Thani and the entire provinces of Krabi and Phangnga from Tuesday onwards.

Visitors have to follow the same protocol as the sandbox in Phuket, which requires one RT-PCR test upon their arrival at registered hotels and another five or six days later.

The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration on Friday added the three provinces to the sandbox model to keep the ailing tourism sector afloat after it put the quarantine-free programme, Test & Go, on ice for the forseeable future.

The final day for travellers with previously confirmed certificates to enter the country under the Test & Go scheme will be next Saturday.

Thailand has logged 1,855 imported cases so far this month, 1,166 of them through Test & Go and 538 through the sandbox in Phuket, according to CCSA figures to yesterday. They included both Thai and foreign nationals.

New infections imported through Test & Go dropped from 230 on Friday to 181 yesterday, but the Phuket sandbox saw an uptrend of 92 to 153 during the same period.

Travellers starting their trips in the United States led imported infections since the beginning of the year with 31 cases, one more than Russia.

Tourism operators in Bangkok and Pattaya have cried foul after they were left out of the list of sandbox destinations, but the tourism promotion association of Koh Samui said yesterday operators were looking forward to foreign arrivals when the airport gates open on Tuesday.

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Kurt | 12 January 2022 - 11:30:43

Don't forget the dangerous air quality level much of the time in large parts of Thailand, including Great BKK. It effects air roots. A bit of Covid-19 on top of it is not much of public health help. And don't forget continues use of dangerous pesticides in farming. Thai people must be real strong to stand all this.

Kurt | 12 January 2022 - 10:49:55

Stop drumming on incoming tourists. There is enough Omnicron , brought in by Thai, among Thai to roll out all over Thailand. Keeping bars ( excuse me, restaurants of course) open with a alcohol prohibition after 9pm is crazy. Alcohol not spreads virus. It are people in restaurants, drinking alcohol or not, who spread it.

JohnC | 12 January 2022 - 08:49:21

Keep letting the tourists spread their diseases in to other provinces and soon the whole country will be infected. Europe is expecting 50% of their population to be infected within the next 6-8 weeks. Let's do the same here!

 

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