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Quarantine, sealed routes may be ditched as government revises re-opening plan


Mandatory quarantine and sealed routes could be scrapped as officials reconsider the rules for re-opening the country. The adoption of the “One SOP, One System” model for the re-opening of Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Cha-am, and Bangkok from October 1 is being submitted to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration next week and also includes a proposal to halve the costs of Covid-19 tests.

According to a Bangkok Post report, Yuthasak Supasorn from the Tourism Authority of Thailand says the Samui Plus model will also change to being quarantine-free around the same time. Under the current plan, tourists are required to spend the first 7 days on Samui and can travel to neighbouring Koh Tao and Koh Phang Ngan from day 8.

“Under this plan, every province will apply the same standard operating procedures which will enable tourists to travel freely within designated areas in each province. Tourists are simply required to follow the guidelines, such as activating the Mor Chana app and being checked daily by a SHA Plus hotel manager, instead of being kept in quarantine or only travelling under a tour programme.”

Yuthasak acknowledges that the cost of mandatory PCR testing is proving a significant deterrent in both the Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus schemes. He says the TAT is in talks with health officials to reduce the cost to around 8,000 baht for 3 tests.

“We will try to halve the RT-PCR price and allow tourists to use antigen test kits for their second and third tests. The package price should be universally applied to every province from October, including the Phuket Sandbox.”

Under the “One SOP, One System” model, the partial quarantine being proposed for Pattaya’s re-opening, as well as Chiang Mai’s sealed routes model, would both be scrapped, in favour of the same procedures being adopted across each province.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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