PRIME Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said today (Oct. 7) that agencies concerned are discussing the reopening of the country to tourism but where Phuket is concerned this could only start after the vegetarian festival ends on October 25 but the whole island would not be opened to them, Thai Rath newspaper reported.
Foreign tourists coming in have to be monitored right from the start, being quarantined before setting off on their journey, and will be restricted to the beach and hotel they opt to stay and allowed to do so.
They would not be allowed to travel from place to place like from Bangkok to Phuket, Gen. Prayut said.
Moreover, land borders will remain closed.
The country will not be opening up to all foreign tourists only on a per trip basis and they will be to be monitored from embarkation point.
“We do this much first, if we don’t do it this way, can we do it some other way? But if we do not start everything will remain the same.
“Then there would be complaints therefore people have to all help out, it is a chain, if there are no tourists, hotels are shut, food and drinks are not sold, not consumed, what do we do, it means we all will be poor,” he said.
Questioned about how many tourists the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has stated are interested in coming to Thailand, Gen. Prayut said some are keen on coming here but not that many. But they would be part of the trial, yet it is certain when the time is right they will all come here.
Right now, Thailand only wants a small number of quality tourists who have been well checked medically coming here on a trip basis, he pointed out.
Prime Minister Prayut talking to the press today. Photo: Thai Rath