Samui to launch sandbox programme from Oct 1
Beginning October, Koh Samui will replace the “Samui Plus Model” to promote tourism with the more liberal "sandbox" programme. Hotel bookings are expected to exceed 10,000 nights, district chief Teerapong Chuaychoo told the press on Sunday.
Under the Samui Plus Model, after Samui, the islands of Pha Nga and Phuket have been opened for tourists who are fully vaccinated since July 15.
“From July 15 to September 1, 524 tourists visited under the Samui Model Plus. A total of four infection cases were found -- two on the first day, one each on the seventh and 13th days,” said Teerapong.
“A total of 331 tourists had travelled to Samui after they completed the Phuket sandbox mandatory stay, and five tourists from the 7+7 scheme. In addition, there have been 576 advance bookings by tourists from September to October, totalling 7,171 room nights, which is a satisfactory number,” the chief added.
Teerapong said that Koh Samui is likely to reach 10,000 booking nights soon. The booking number is expected to be higher when the Covid-19 measures are lifted in October according to the government’s plan, and the Samui Plus Model will be changed to the Samui Sandbox Programme.
“We are ready to launch the Samui Sandbox programme from October 1, hence we have been preparing and collecting data since July,” said the district chief.
Under Samui Plus, a visitor is required to stay on the property of the Samui Plus hotel for the first three days. Visitors can leave the hotel room but not the hotel itself.
From day 4 to 7, only travel to specific routes, and destinations are permitted.
From day 8 to 14, tourists can travel anywhere in Samui, and even go to Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao.
On the 15th day, a visitor can leave Samui and travel anywhere in Thailand.
In comparison, the sandbox programme would require visitors to complete 14 nights in Samui before being allowed to visit other Thai destinations. They must also test negative for Covid-19 two more times -- on day 6-7 and day 12-13.