August 24, 2020 - 17:40 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Thailand has been considering a plan to welcome back international tourists in October, although travelers might have to spend several weeks in the kingdom and only stick to designated areas, CNN reports.
During a public forum held late last week, Thailand's Minister of Tourism Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said the country is aiming to allow foreign tourists to enter the country through a program dubbed "Safe and Sealed."
"I have asked the prime minister for approval to set October 1 as the date to allow (inbound) tourists to enter," he said. "I also have requested to use Phuket as a pilot model ... and have received approval from the Center for Economic Situation Administration."
If successful, the project will be expanded to include other destinations.
In the beginning, tourists will be permitted to fly into Phuket -- Thailand's largest island -- and will need to quarantine in a designated resort for 14 days.
Phiphat cited popular Patong Beach as an example of an area where this could work. Special one-kilometer zones consisting of three-to-four resorts could be set up there, allowing quarantined tourists to spend time on the beach -- so long as they stay in their designated area.
Travelers will need to get tested for Covid-19 at the beginning and end of their quarantine period. Then, they will be free to travel on the island.
Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, says that the plan has been approved and the next step involves holding a public hearing to get approval from local residents.
This is expected to take place in early September.