Wed, October 20, 2021

in-focus

Foreign Ministry denies tardiness in issuing COE to Phuket-bound tourists


The Foreign Ministry on Thursday blamed lack of proper documentation for being unable to issue Certificates of Entry (COE) to many tourists wishing to visit Phuket.

The ministry's spokesperson, Thani Saengrat, was

responding to reports that the failure to promptly issue COE had resulted in the number of visitors under the Phuket Sandbox programme falling below the target.

“The ministry is working as fast as we can to issue the COE,” he said. “However, several tourists did not meet the criteria or did not present all the required documents, therefore we cannot issue the COE to them.”

Under the sandbox programme, tourists who can verify they have been inoculated against Covid-19 and test negative can fly into Phuket and move around freely in the province without having to quarantine. After spending 14 days in Phuket and if they still test negative, the tourists can then travel to other parts of Thailand.

To be eligible to apply for a COE, visitors must come from 68 countries/areas that have mid to low level of infections and had been staying there for at least 21 days. They also have to present their passport, a plane ticket, an insurance against Covid-19 of at least $100,000, evidence of payment for accommodation that are certified under SHA+ standard and for Covid-19 testing, a certificate of vaccination, and a negative test result via RT-PRC method done not earlier than 72 hours before departure.

All visitors, both Thai and foreign nationals, have to take up to three Covid-19 tests during their stay in Phuket to ensure that they are free of the virus. The number of tests depend on the length of stay.

“From July 1-8, 12,356 people have applied for a COE to enter Phuket from embassies worldwide,” said Thani.

“As of July 8, the ministry has issued COE to 5,652 tourists under the Phuket Sandbox programme, 594 people were not qualified, while 6,110 people have yet to submit complete documents.

“From July 1-8, 2,244 visitors have entered Phuket under the sandbox programme,” he added.

Published : July 09, 2021

By : THE NATION