Due to recent spikes in local COVID cases, the head of the provincial health office, Dr Suriya Kuharat, said the timing for the Hua Hin reopening will be moved back from Oct 1 to Nov 1 in order to ensure the safety of visitors.
Hua Hin currently remains a dark-red zone with 151 local cases in the province reported yesterday. Additionally infections are also still being found with almost 400 workers tested positive for Covid-19 at a canned-fruit factory in the Kui Buri district.
However Hua Hin is not the only province looking to re-jig its opening. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has revealed plans five tourism provinces, including Bangkok, will also be delayed until Nov 1. It seems the vaccinations rates are becoming more significantly in the decision as to when to re-open. The TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn has stated that authorities have set a minimum of 70% vaccination of the provincial population before it is safe to reopen to foreign tourists. This news came after a meeting with the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), showing that wider consultation is happening between government agencies, before announcements.
For Prachuap province currently 55% percent of residents in the province have received their first shot while 38% have received their second. Whilst in Hua Hin, 82% of residents have received their first shot while 56% have received their second. Overall these rates when compared to the national average of around 21% show strong progress in the local regino for vaccinaitno rates. Dr Suriya added that “A reopening date of Nov 1 is more preferable as the coronavirus situation should improve by then”
In regards to the delayed opening, it seems that local figures are in agreement that the delay will give more time for Hua Hin to prepare for the eventually reopening. With both Kitipong Siriphetkasem, vice president of the Hua Hin-Cha-Am Tourism Association and Nopporn Wutthikul, mayor of Hua Hin and Krod Rojanasathira, president of the Hua Hin Recharge Projec in agreement on this matter.
Meanwhile, Chiang Mai province said it will not accept direct international flights during the first phase of reopening. Foreign tourists must join the “Phuket Sandbox 7+7 Extension” scheme, staying on the southern island for at least seven days, before they can travel to Chiang Mai.