We are all glued to the Thai forums, waiting for updates as to when Thailand will open for tourists again. As Koh Lipe is mainly a tourist beach destination, the local business and local Challay community rely almost completely on the income from tourist.
Crystal clear blue waters, abundance of marine activity and tropical sunny weather are still the dream of many people constricted under lockdown or regional laws. However, getting to Thailand is still much of a dilemma.
There was recently an announcement that foreigners will need to show 500,000 thb to apply for a tourist visa. This shattered us and a lot of the tourism industries in Thailand.
Koh Lipe is a fabulous get away destination, for Thai residents and tourists alike, but very few foreigners would be able to afford this.
At this time Thailand is pushing Thai residence to travel out of their own provinces to try and support tourist destinations. Hotels are asked to collaborate in a project to discount up to 50% for Thai residence and additional public holidays has been given. The Thai government approved a 22.4 billion baht (US$718 million) domestic tourism stimulus, as part of efforts to soften the impact of the pandemic and speed up recovery in the travel and tourism sector.
Within a few weeks another update has been announced. Thailand had reopened its borders to foreigners with work permits, residency or family here. The government has announced that travellers of all nationalities can now apply for new ‘tourist visas’ lasting up to 60 days. Additionally, foreigners from low risk countries can also now apply for tourist visas up to 90 days with renewal options. Both of the new visa plans are aimed at reviving Thailand’s tourism industry, which contributes 20 percent of the country’s GDP, employing more than four million people in regular years.
All travelers coming to Thailand must provide a negative test result from within 72 hours of arrival, then take a second test once they land. If they test positive, they will have to quarantine for 14 days in a state hospital (rather than a state-approved hotel, if the result is negative). You must also provide evidence of medical and travel insurance that will cover Covid-19 for at least the length of your stay.
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