Pattaya, Chonburi –
Pattaya City is preparing to welcome vaccinated foreign tourists who have completely taken two doses of an authorized Covid-19 vaccine in October while Koh Larn is being proposed to be a ‘Sandbox’ for foreign visitors.
The Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Yutthasak Suphasorn yesterday, (June 9th), discussed the plans to re-open Pattaya to foreign tourists without quarantine with the Pattaya City Mayor Sonthaya Khunplume, relevant officers, agencies, tourism association leaders, business representatives, and hotel operators in Pattaya and Chonburi at the Intercontinental Pattaya Hotel.
The Pattaya News notes everything below discussed at the meeting is a PROPOSAL and not set in stone, and is subject (and likely) to change before October.
The meeting focused on plans from the Center for Economic Situation Administration (CESA), which is planning to welcome foreign tourists to eight provinces this year which are Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Surat Thani (Samui), Chiang Mai, Chonburi (Pattaya), Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin), and Buriram. The project model will start with the Phuket Sandbox in July.
Foreign tourists who have completely taken two doses of an approved Covid-19 vaccine within the past year will be allowed to visit Pattaya without a strict 14-day quarantine as part of the overall proposal.
Children aged under six who will travel with their parents do not have to be tested, but those aged between 6 to 18 must provide a recent Covid -19 test result, proving they are negative from the disease.
Tourists must stay in Banglamung and Sattahip for at least seven days before moving to other areas under the NEO Pattaya plan. The NEO Pattaya proposal overall hopes to ensure tourism confidence and safety.
Tourists will have to stay at hotels with SHA+ (Amazing Thailand Safety Health Administration Plus). This essentially means that at least 70% percent of the hotel staff are vaccinated against Covid-19, along with passing other quality and control standards. They will not be allowed to stay at their own homes or condos if they have them.
Pattaya is leaning towards a ‘Sealed Approach’ which will include ‘Sealed Routes’ and ‘Sealed Areas’ while tourists are in their initial seven days. Each hotel will have a specific traveling route for tourists under the proposal. At this time, Pattaya is not considering an “open” model in which tourists would be able to go where they wished, but rather provided specific activities, places to go, and things to do from lists provided from TAT and authorities that help balance safety and the economy. Activities discussed at the meeting were those such as visiting Koh Larn and local beaches, visiting prominent Buddhist temples in the area, visiting popular tourist attractions like Nong Nooch Gardens, Sanctuary of Truth, Khao Kheow Open Zoo, and Big Buddha, and cultural destinations that highlight Thailand. Of course, if one wished to just relax at their hotel, they could do this as well, as all activities and routes would be optional or “opt-in”.
After seven days, the proposal then would allow tourists to travel completely on their own or leave the Pattaya/Sattahip area. It is likely at least one Covid-19 test would be required during this period.
Pattaya is also planning for Koh Larn to participate in a model similar to the Phuket Sandbox, with more freedom for tourists and visitors. However, this needs further exploration and discussion with Koh Larn’s residents and leaders.
It is expected that at least 70 percent of local permanent residents in Banglamung and Sattahip will be vaccinated by the end of July next month, according to Pattaya Mayor Sonthaya Khunplume.
TPN stresses the plan is still in the early stages and will provide more details as they are released. Pattaya leaders will also be closely looking at the Phuket Sandbox and learning from that project. You can read more about the Phuket Sandbox here.
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