By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THE ISLAND HOPPING campaign for foreign travellers between Koh Samui and Phuket was suspended from today (July 29) due to reported coronavirus infection on three tourist islands.
Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakan confirmed the Island Hopping campaign under which fully-vaccinated foreigners may leave Phuket after a seven-day period on the island province in the Andaman Sea for Koh Samui and nearby islands in the Gulf of Thailand for another seven days was suspended in the face of confirmed cases of infection on those tourist destinations.
Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan and Koh Tao islands have reported 61 cases since yesterday, prompting the authorities to put the Island Hopping campaign on hold for the time being until further notice, Phiphat said.
The tourist campaign as part of the Phuket Sandbox reopening programme between Phuket and Krabi as well as between Phuket and Phangnga on the Andaman Sea shores, earlier scheduled to get started on August 1, is also being suspended for similar reasons, the tourism and sports minister said.
It remains to be seen whether the Samui Plus Model reopening campaign which kicked off on July 15 will be suspended as well, given the reported cases of infection on those tourist islands, he said.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand had earlier planned to reopen major tourist destinations in six other provinces as a follow-up to the Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus Model programmes by October 1. Those tourist spots which are yet to reopen include Chiang Mai, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khirikhan, Chonburi, Buriram and Bangkok.
Top: Phuket’s Kata Beach before coronavirus swept the world. Photo: Mst7022 (CC BY 2.0)
Home Page: A beautiful view of the sea from Koh Tao. Photo: Irumge (CC BY 2.0)