Thai Ministry of Health blocks reopening plan for coastal city of Pattaya
The Ministry of Health is opposing 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,” one plan to bring tourists back in high season after vaccinating more than two-thirds of Pattian residents and hospitality workers against the Covid19 virus.
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.
However, Thanes Supornsahasrungsri, acting chairman of the Chonburi Tourism Council, said the ministry had expressed concern about the idea on Friday.
Unlike the holiday island of Phuket, Pattaya is more of an open city and health officials feared it would be difficult to regulate the movement of tourists, Thanes admitted.
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 chairman 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 passes 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 noted.
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