Phuket welcomed its first group of Test & Go travellers entering the island province by sea on March 9th. Tourism officials say more visitors travelling on yachts and cruise ships will be entering under the quarantine exemption scheme.
On March 1, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration eased travel restrictions, allowing Test & Go travellers to enter Thailand by land and sea, not just air. Under the entry scheme, travellers must undergo an RT-PCR Covid-19 on arrival.
Those travelling by air must stay at an approved hotel or resort for a night while they wait for their results while those travelling by sea must isolate on the yacht or cruise ship.
“It’s great the Government is starting to ease restrictions and they’ve done a great job in keeping people safe. Now there are sufficient people in Thailand vaccinated and visitors arriving by sea, air and land can feel safe when coming to sunny Thailand to enjoy their holiday!”, enthused Gordon Fernandes, co-founder of Asia Pacific Superyachts (APS), now in Phuket.
Fernandes noted Phuket provincial authorities and relevant departments welcomed the first group of visitors, travelling from Singapore and docking at Ao Por Grand Marina, a marina developed to be a so-called “smart pier” equipped with auto gates, CCTV with temperature detector, and passport scanner.
The Director of Phuket’s TAT, Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, noted tourists from yachts and cruise ships came from European and Mediterranean countries, along with some neighbouring countries. Nanthasiri noted Phuket is a good destination for yachts and cruise ships because the province has more than 30 state and private piers and a deepwater port. She revealed that 91 ships with 323 passengers visited Phuket in 2021, and 27 ships with 92 passengers visited from January to March of this year (2022) and more yachts and cruise ships requesting to travel to Thailand under the Test & Go programme.