Koh Samui pins hopes on 'Sealed Route'

3 May 2021

Due, to the need to distribute vaccines to other provinces to fight the epidemic, vaccine shipments to Samui of around 160,000 doses for 80,000 residents might be delayed.

Vaccinations can begin a few days after another batch arrives, he said. Four vaccine centres on the island have the capacity to administer 25,000 shots in five days.

Mr Ratchaporn said, "We firmly believe that the vaccination process  phase will be completed by June, in time for the reopening plan."

In the meantime, with 50 cases found in Koh Samui, Surat Thani province and the island must tighten travel restrictions and disease control measures to contain the viral spread.

Since the spreading cluster was detected and controlled, he said, the number of new cases continued to decline. It helped prove the efficiency of health services in an emergency, as the island can offer medical care for up to 100 Covid patients at the same time. Despite the new round of infections, the Samui Sealed Route model is committed to keeping the same schedule of returned vaccinated travellers starting July 1.

Ratchaporn Poolsawadee, president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui said, vaccine rollouts have already gathered pace in Koh Samui, with approximately 30% of the people, or 25,000 people, receiving two doses, and few reports of side effects.

Mr Ratchaporn urged the government to take decisive action to stop inter-provincial travel. This is a more important measure than ordering businesses to close for 14 days and possibly extend indefinitely.

Moreover, the country's effective virus containment will boost confidence and benefit operators to run marketing campaigns with international tourists.

From Singapore, now there is one direct flight a week to the island.

Potential markets such as Israel, Australia, Russia, and Southeast Asian countries have informed operators that they are ready to visit once the island.

He said tour operators are drafting on tour programs for the Samui Sealed Route, in which tourists can travel to sealed beach areas at Tham Rang in the Angthong National Marine Park or join in wellness activities such as yoga, spa treatments, and meditation.

Tourists must stay in their rooms on the arrival date and take a swab test on the second day, then they can leave their rooms or using other hotel facilities for sealed route trips.

On the fourth day, travellers can step out of the hotel and do another test on the seventh day. They can continue their trips in Koh Samui or to other destinations if the test were negative results.