Pattaya and the Tourism Authority of Thailand will push the government to follow through with plans to open Pattaya as a “sandbox” for foreign tourists fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Called the “Pattaya Move On” proposal, it’s identical to what the government earlier suggested: Allowing fully vaccinated foreigners to arrive in Pattaya from October without having to endure quarantine as long as they stay in the area for a week.
Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome on May 26 made a big deal of the proposed plan to be submitted to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration but, in fact, there’s nothing in it not already suggested. The “Move On” proposal, however, is meant to force the CCSA to take action rather than wait to see whether a similar “sandbox” project works successfully in Phuket starting in July.
Foreigners could fly into either Suvarnabhumi International Airport or U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya Airport and be transported under disease-control protocols to a Health Ministry-certified hotel. Adults must show proof they’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19 within the past year while youths 12-18 must either be vaccinated or hold proof of a negative Covid-19 test 72 hours before flying. Young children won’t need any test results, but must stay with parents at all times.
Tourists would be restricted to Banglamung or Sattahip district for a week, but could travel to any tourist attraction or beach in those areas. The plan doesn’t detail now that would be enforced.
The entire plan is dependent upon the government vaccinating 70 percent of the populations of the two districts before October.
The same strategy already has been approved for Phuket Island starting in July. The government has said that, if successful, the Phuket sandbox could be expanded to other tourist-centric provinces starting in October.
Pattaya officials aren’t happy with “could,” however, and want it in writing.
No timetable was provided when city hall would submit the Move On plan to the CCSA.