Thailand to rejig reopening model

  • Thailand is rethinking its reopening model as it will adopt the “One SOP, One System” (OSOS) policy, scrapping both mandatory quarantine and sealed routes for all pilot areas within 2021 and cutting Covid-19 test costs by half.
  • The reopening plan for five more areas — Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Cha-am and Bangkok — will be submitted to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) next week in order to start receiving inoculated tourists from 1 Oct 21, while Samui Plus will pivot to a quarantine-free destination at the same time, said Yuthasak Supasorn, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor.
  • “Under this plan, every province will apply the same SOPs [standard operating procedures] which will enable tourists to travel freely within designated areas in each province,” he said.
  • He said the agency is also in a discussion with health authorities about reducing the price from around THB8,000 for three RT-PCR tests which is considered an obstacle for the reopening programme in both Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus over the past few months.
  • The OSOS also eliminates different measures which each pilot province was preparing, such as Pattaya and Chiang Mai that previously opted for partial quarantine and sealed routes, respectively.
  • Ratchaporn Poolsawadee, president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui, said there are few adjustments for Samui Plus’s quarantine-free plan. Tourists who enter via this programme have to spend their first seven days on Samui island and can travel to Koh Phangan and Koh Tao from day eight.

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