Authorities in Surat Thani have expressed their readiness to fully reopen the province to tourists in accordance with the recent national reopening schedule announced by the prime minister.
Surat Thani Governor Witchawut Jinto said more than 2,200 tourists have entered Samui Island since the province piloted reopening to tourists via the Samui Plus program and only 5 persons were infected with COVID-19. The governor earlier discussed disease control efforts with operators of entertainment venues, who expressed their willingness to cooperate and a good understanding of the protocols.
Mr. Witchawut said more tourism areas in the province are lined up for reopening, including Khao Sok national park and Ratchaprapha Dam. These may be opened under the ‘sealed route’ approach to provide tourists with attractions that can be accessed safely.
Samui District Chief Officer Thiraphong Chuaichu on Tuesday gave an update of the arrivals figure under the Samui Plus quarantine waiver program, saying 1,308 tourists have directly entered the island under the initiative whereas another 1,332 tourists from the Phuket Sandbox program had arrived on the island. Of the two groups, 6 persons were found to be infected with COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Chanthaburi Tourism Association president Aphison Thawonwiriyanan said the hospitality business in Chanthaburi has been making preparations to accommodate tourists. He said he was personally in favor of the country reopening date of November 1, although there were concerns about the number of COVID-19 infections. He expressed his view that Covid was here to stay and all parties should make effort to enforce stringent public health measures instead of dwelling on fears of the disease. (NNT)