Beach bars on Koh Samui await domestic tourists, who now don't have to take a coronavirus test to visit if they're fully vaccinated against Covid-19. (Photo: Bangkok Herald)
Beach bars on Koh Samui await domestic tourists, who now don't have to take a coronavirus test to visit if they're fully vaccinated against Covid-19. (Photo: Bangkok Herald)

Likely precursors to what international visitors may experience come November, Phuket and Koh Samui are dropping onerous disease-control measures for domestic tourists.

This week, Phuket Gov. Narong Woonciew signed an order allowing domestic travelers to simply show their Covid-19 full-vaccination record or a negative test result to enter the island province. They will not be required to take another test. The order takes effect Saturday.

Narong’s move came a day after authorities on Koh Samui said they only will require Thai or expat visitors to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and not additionally demand antigen tests.

Ratchaporn Poolsawadee, president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui, said Koh Samui’s disease control committee and the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand agreed to impose the measure on the tourist island on Oct 15.

According to Ratchaporn, visitors will be required to show either full Covid-19 vaccination or a negative antigen test result within the past seven days instead of showing both as earlier required.

The new measure will start simultaneously with the third phase of the “We Travel Together” tourism-promotion program.

Meanwhile, foreign tourists who arrive from Phuket will not be quarantined. They will not face repeated paperwork or extra quarantine costs and can visit tourist attractions on Koh Samui at will right away.

In Phuket, those who haven’t been vaccinated fully can take their antigen test kits certified by the Food and Drug Administration to Phuket with them and perform the test at a local hospital or laboratory and then show their test result, which will be considered as valid for 7 days.

The rule spares children aged not over 6 who travel with their parents and people who arrive in ambulances.

The eased antivirus measures come as Thailand as a while considers dropping quarantine requirements and movement restrictions for international tourists. Instead of being confined to a hotel for days or a “sandbox” city, visitors will be able to take one test upon arrival and go anywhere.

The details on that plan, however, have yet to be announced.