Koh Samet is closed for at least 2 weeks, Koh Chang may follow

27 Apr 2021

To help stop the spread of Covid-19, the island of Koh Samet in Thailand's eastern Rayong province is closing to tourists and non-residents for at least 14 days. Yesterday, the province saw 21 new infections, at least one of which was related to Koh Samet. The closure is in place as of today, with Koh Chang, another famous island, probably following suit. During the closure, residents will only be able to enter and exit the area via Na Dan Pier for necessary travel to and from the mainland.

The Rayong Governor and the public health coordinator signed an order yesterday to close the island from today until at least May 10th. Hotels, resorts, and other lodgings on the island must close, and the whole island must be disinfected and washed. Many who had reserved rooms should contact the property to delay or cancel their reservations, according to the Governor. He believes the properties should reimburse them, and he has asked island business owners to assist him in refunding customers who had pre-booked stays.

Despite the governor's reminders that certain companies might be eligible for social security benefits, it is believed that the majority of tourism industry employees are unqualified to receive such payments. Such payments, if one is eligible, may account for up to half of one's total salary.

Today, representatives on the island of Koh Chang are debating whether or not to follow suit. The closures come ahead of this weekend's four-day holiday, which includes Labour Day and His Majesty the King's coronation anniversary for government employees on Monday and Tuesday next week. However, several provinces have imposed travel restrictions and are discouraging any non-essential travel as a result of Covid, with 14-day quarantines required for those arriving from red-zone provinces or presenting a negative Covid examination.