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Koh Samui’s 4-Hour Covid-19 Tests Could Earn Island First Dibs on Foreign Tourists

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Koh Samui hopes to put its new four-hour coronavirus testing lab to good use restarting the island’s tourism industry.

Vorasit Pongkumpunt, president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui, suggested Wednesday that tourists from low-risk countries could fly directly to Koh Samui Airport starting in September and skip a 14-day quarantine by testing negative for Covid-19 upon arrival.

Koh Samui Hospital last month opened a 4.8-million-baht testing lab that returns results in four hours. The lab can process 90 tests a day. Each one costs 4,000 baht.

Samui Airport previously received scheduled airline service from Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia and charter flights from Chendu, China.

If tourists don’t want to pay or test positive, they could stay two weeks at any of the hotels ready to serve as “alternative state quarantine” facilities.

Of course, Samui could not start accepting foreign tourists without the blessing of the Tourism, Foreign and Public Health ministries which, right now, are allowing only 200 select visitors a day from five countries to enter the country each day.

The fact that Vorasit talking about lengthy quaratines and visitor caps in September also bodes very badly for the country’s tourism industry.