Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry has announced it will reopen five of the country’s most popular islands to foreign tourists by the end of the month, as the Kingdom continues lifting restrictions and revives its tourism sector in stages.
These islands, located in Phuket, Krabi and Surat Thani, respectively, are expected to be fully operational by August. The ministry revealed yesterday (30th June) that these destinations will be among the first to welcome back foreign tourists, as Thailand gradually welcomes back international visitors.
“Initially, we will open five islands – Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao,” said a government official in a statement. He added that the Public Health Ministry is currently discussing the mechanism by which travellers will be permitted to enter these locations.
“To start with, we will limit the number of tourists depending on each area’s capability to effectively screen visitors for COVID-19,” he said. “We plan to allow tourists to board a plane to a specified destination. If they have to take a connecting flight via Bangkok, for example, they will be prohibited from travelling in Bangkok,” he added.
In more good news for Thailand’s tourism sector, the European Union (EU) has released an official list of countries worldwide deemed safe for travel. Among these nations is Thailand, thanks to the Kingdom’s successful containment of COVID-19 and subsequent revival of tourism infrastructure.
As the Kingdom finalises its plans for the new normal and works towards a complete lifting of restrictions, COVID-19 safety protocols are top of the agenda: tourists will be expected to wear a mask on beaches and in public places, wash their hands regularly and maintain physical distancing of between one and two metres. To safeguard visitors, hand-washing stations and sanitizer gel will also be made available at tourist facilities, while public washrooms will be cleaned at least every two hours.
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