SURAT THANI (NNT) – The Samui Plus campaign got underway today with the arrival of the first international visitors, as the island officially opened for foreign tourists, under more relaxed quarantine requirements.
The first flight carrying international tourists visiting Ko Samui under the Samui Plus campaign landed at Samui International Airport around 11 a.m. today, marking the official reopening of the island for international tourists.
The flight operated by Bangkok Airways from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport carried guests and members of the media invited by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), with the majority coming from the UK, Germany, and France.
Mr Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for Asia and the South Pacific said around 1,000 international tourists are expected to visit Ko Samui from today to 15th August, a modest number that will allow the island to proceed gradually with its reopening.
He said the tourism campaign will target fully vaccinated tourists from low to medium risk countries who are the usual customer base for Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, and Ko Tao, such as European tourists, Middle Eastern tourists, and families.
Samui Plus is a tourism campaign which allows fully vaccinated visitors from eligible countries to visit Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, and Ko Tao with reduced quarantine restrictions.
For the first seven days, visitors must stay in a single Samui Extra+ certified hotel and take a COVID-19 test using the RT-PCR method upon arrival.
Once at their hotel or resort, visitors have to stay in their room until they receive their results. If testing negative, visitors are allowed to roam within the vicinity of their hotel or resort until day 4, after which they are allowed to travel elsewhere on Ko Samui on the approved Sealed Route programs.
Tourists making a longer visit will be allowed to island hop between Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, and Ko Tao from day 8, following a second COVID-19 test performed on day 6-7, and provided the result is negative. Another test will be performed on day 12-13, which will enable visitors who test negative to travel freely across Thailand from day 15 onwards.