KOH Samui starts welcoming tourists again today (July 15) with the launch of the “Samui Plus Model” project that reopens three islands with the other two being Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, Amarin TV said.
Three Bangkok Airways flights will be mainly bringing members of the media for this launch. However there are foreign tourists among them with the first flight that was to land at 11.35 a.m. having six foreign passengers from the UK, France and Germany.
The second flight landing at 4.05 p.m. has one overseas passenger from Singapore while the day’s last flight landing at 6.40 p.m. has four passengers from Hong Kong.
In keeping with this project, foreign tourists have to be vaccinated against coronavirus and have a certificate verifying this from the country of origin.
They will then have to stay at a Samui Extra+ hotel for seven days and after that one that meets SHA + standards the following seven days as well as follow the procedures listed below:
– 1. On the first day they have to undergo a RT-PCR test and while waiting for the result they may only stay in their room;
– 2. From the first to the third day, the tourists who get negative result may use the space allocated to them within the hotel;
– 3. From the fourth to the seventh day tourists may go to Koh Samui district according to a specified route and programme. On the sixth or the seventh day they will undergo a second RT-PCR test;
– 4. From the eight to the 14th day, after getting a negative result tourists may freely move around the three islands, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. On the 12th or the 13th day they will undergo a third RT-PCR test and if they again get a negative result they may travel throughout the country.
The three islands are being opened to foreign tourists to stimulate the economy but there is an emergency plan in place with movement of those already on these islands being restricted or trips by additional tourists cancelled should there be more than 20 Covid cases in two weeks.
Data shows that there are 17 hotels participating in the Samui Plus Model project with capacity to accommodate nearly 500 tourists. This will bring at least 10 percent of the workforce back into the system in the first phase.
Tourists enjoying themselves at Koh Samui’s Lamai beach before the coronavirus started. Both photos: Fabio Achilli (CC BY 2.0)