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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Health Ministry deeply concerned about Pattaya reopening plans

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The Ministry of Health is deeply concerned about Pattaya’s plans to allow vaccinated foreign vacationers to return in the fourth quarter of the year without being quarantined.

The resort recently proposed what officials called “Pattaya, Move on,” a plan to welcome tourists back in peak season after giving more than two-thirds of its residents and hospitality workers COVID19 vaccinations.

The scheme would allow fully vaccinated foreign tourists to enter Pattaya without having to quarantine for 14 days, even though they would have to stay in Bang Lamung and Sattahip districts for seven days before being allowed to travel elsewhere in the country.

However, Thanes Supornsahasrungsri, acting chairman of the Chonburi tourism board, said the ministry had expressed serious concern about the idea.

Unlike the holiday island of Phuket, Pattaya is more of an open city and health officials feared it would be difficult to regulate tourist traffic, Supornsahasrungsri agreed.

He said Pattaya still hoped to prepare for a full reopening by allowing for a “soft reopening” in August and September with the “sealed route” restriction.

This would mean that even fully vaccinated foreign tourists would have to stay in their hotels for three to five days, after which they could travel to pre-approved places that have certification for hygiene standards from the Safety & Health Administration (SHA).

The tourist’s head said the measure should help allay health authorities’ concerns ahead of the hoped-for reopening in October and was optimistic that Pattaya would get more vaccine doses to cover at least 70% of local residents once it hits a clear timeline. before its reopening.

It takes about 900,000 doses of vaccine to vaccinate 450,000 people or 70% of the population, he finally noted.

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