SURAT THANI: Authorities will ease restrictions for people entering Koh Samui, says governor Witchawut Jinto.
From Oct 15, the entry requirement will be a negative test result for Covid-19 taken no more than seven days prior to arrival for those who have not received two doses of vaccine. The test is performed using the antigen test kit. Test results are not needed for those who have been fully vaccinated.
On arrival, both fully and not fully vaccinated people must register online to obtain the Samui health pass and the Mor Chana QR Code for scans to gain access to services and tourism venues on the island. The governor said he was in the process of issuing a provincial order to implement the relaxed entry restrictions.
Mr Witchawut said easier entry would complement the "Rao Tiew Duay Kan" (We Travel Together) tourism stimulus programme. Under the scheme, participants pay only 60% of normal room rates, with the government responsible for the rest.
The subsidy was initially capped at 3,000 baht per night for up to five consecutive nights in the first stage and has now been stretched to 10 nights. Tourists also automatically receive an e-voucher for other expenses that are valued at 600 baht from Friday to Sunday and 900 baht from Monday to Thursday under the scheme.
Mr Witchawut said that from the launch of the Samui Plus sandbox programme until Oct 9, the island has received 1,125 overseas visitors, including 181 French nationals, 181 Germans, 128 Britons, 82 Americans and 59 Dutch. The visitors have stayed for 13,059 room nights.
Samui has also welcomed another 1,293 overseas tourists from the Phuket sandbox programme. These visitors first came the country through the Phuket sandbox scheme and travelled onward to Samui.
Koh Samui remains a popular holiday destination for visitors from Europe and the US.