Rumour that unmarried foreign-Thai couples banned from Phuket debunked by tourism body
The Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) has debunked a rumour that foreigners and their Thai partners seeking to enter Phuket from July 1 must be legally married.
“The rumour stemmed from a misunderstanding of an interview given by association president Phummikit Raktaengam on Wednesday,” said a PTA Facebook post on Friday.
“During the interview, Phummikit said that the cohabitation of Thai and foreign nationals in Phuket must comply with the law. However, this rule is yet to be clarified by authorities.”
Some online news channels interpreted Phummikit’s words as meaning that foreigners in non-legally binding relationships, such as with a Thai girlfriend, as well as couples of the same sex, would be barred from visiting Phuket.
“To prevent any further misunderstanding, please disregard this as a rumour,” said the association.
The government’s tourism sandbox scheme will launch in Phuket on July 1 followed by three islands in Surat Thani – Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, and Koh Tao – on July 15. Under the sandbox scheme, foreign tourists with Covid vaccination certificates and negative tests can fly into Phuket and move around freely in the province without having to quarantine. After staying in Phuket for 14 days and testing negative three times, the tourists can travel to other provinces in Thailand.