Koh Samui – Thailand’s second largest island and its neightbouring islands Koh Phangan and Koh Tao – has opened to vaccinated international travellers without quarantine in the new SAMUI+ tourism scheme intended to kick-start the islands’ tourism industry which has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Samui+ model represents months of planning and close cooperation between the key tourism bodies of Thailand, the TAT [Thailand Association of Tourism], THA [Thailand Hotels Assocation], TAKS [Tourism Association of Koh Samui], government and private sector, whose representatives attended last night’s launch ceremony at the Banana FanSea Resort on Samui’s famous Chaweng Beach.
SAMUI+ Plus model – At a glance, how it works for vaccinated international visitors:
- Travellers must travel from an approved country, and they must have been in that country for no fewer than 21 consecutive days.
- A Certificate of Entry (COE).
- A negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before travel date.
- Adult arrivals must be fully vaccinated by an approved COVID-19 vaccine no fewer than 14 days before travel date.
- Travellers under 18 do not require proof of vaccination, but must travel with fully vaccinated parents or guardians and show negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test.
- Insurance policy covering COVID-19 expenses of at least USD100,000.
- Arrival is via Bangkok’s Internationl Airport Suvarnabhumi and transfer to direct Bangkok Airways terminal for direct flight to Koh Samui via sealed transit route.
- Must stay exclusively at an ALQ approved hotel for the first 7 nights of their stay.
- May stay at an SHA+ Plus approved hotel or private villa in Koh Samui, Koh Phangan or Koh Tao for the next 7 nights of their stay Koh Samui.
- All airline and hotel bookings must be pre-booked and pre-paid and include payment for the mandatory 3 x RT-PCR COVID-19 tests.
- Must be tested with RT-PCR COVID-19 test on the following days of their visit:
Day 0 – 1st RT-PCR test on arrival at the hotel, and wait for result.
Day 1-3 – If result is negative, tourists free to enjoy their hotel facilities.
Day 4-7 – The ‘Sealed Route’ and tourists free to enjoy 3 pre-determined designated routes: A natural attraction; Wellness Spa or Diving.
Day 6 or 7 – 2nd RT-PCR test at the hotel.
Day 8–14 – If negative, tourists free to travel around Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao and stay in SHA+ Plus approved hotels.
Day 12 or 13 – 3rd RT-PCR rest will be conducted at the hospital. If negative, tourists are free to travel domestically within Thailand.
- Must download and install alert applications.
See link for complete rules https://www.tatnews.org and attached list of Eligible countries and chart showing the Customer Journey, which apply to Thai and non-Thai nationals alike.
Domestic travellers also enjoy access to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao provided that they comply with the following conditions, which apply to local Thai as well as non-#Thail visitors:
– Fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine no fewer than 14 days before travel.
– A negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before travel date.
– Recovered from COVID-19 for at least 14 days.
Meanwhile, visitors to Koh Samui can expect a much improved island following the local authority’s investment in an upgraded infrastructure, public utilities, transportation and safety measures
Commenting on the reopening of Koh Samui to international tourism, James McManaman, President of SKÅL International Koh Samui said, “We are absolutely delighted that this day has come, we’ve been watching the Phuket Sandbox scheme which launched on July 1st very and firmly believe that the Samui+ model which is different to Phuket, has the all the elements in place to make it a success. Obviously this is a work in progress but it’s a great start to get our beautiful island back on track towards recovery of its much needed tourism.”
SKAL Interntaional Samui is committed to helping Koh Samui and its people rebuild the local economy, for the past year the organsation has been working closely with all stakeholders in the travel and tourism industry on the recovery process through its successful #RediscoverSamui campaign – now adopted by all of our 6 member clubs in Thailand – which has included new promotionial video, media fams, webinars and talks on tourism recovery through our SKAL Talks Thailand series.