The seaside resort town of Hua Hin will reopen to foreign tourists on 1st October, despite the province reporting a spike in COVID-19 infections.
The much-awaited reopening plan was announced by Prachuap Khiri Khan governor, Prompiriya Kitnuson, yesterday. At the same time, he revealed that 71 new COVID-19 cases were found in the province – 54 of which were detected among workers at the Dole pineapple canning factory.
The new infections brought the province’s total COVID-19 tally to 3,658 – 969 of which are still being treated at hospitals while 11 have died. Out of the 1,540 beds reserved for COVID-19 patients in the province, 568 are still available.
Despite the discovery of new cases, Mr Kitnuson said his administration will proceed with allowing fully vaccinated foreign tourists to visit the seaside destination without having to quarantine starting from 1st October, under the slogan “Hua Hin Recharge”.
The province is aiming to vaccinate 100% of workers in the tourism and services sector, and 70% of the general population of Hua Hin municipality by 30th September, Mr Kitnuson said.
At present, only about 8% of the town’s population has received a COVID-19 shot. The municipality has ordered 50,000 doses of vaccine from Sinopharm to help meet the goal.
A map outlining “sealed routes” for tourists is also being drawn up, Mr Kitnuson said, adding Hua Hin can expect around 1.2 billion baht in tourism revenue between October and December following the reopening.
About 89,000 workers would have jobs again, he added.
Meanwhile, in Bangkok, the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) explained which shops and services are allowed to carry on operating across the Greater Bangkok area, which is currently under maximum COVID-19 restrictions.
CCSA spokeswoman, Apisamai Srirangson, said maximum restrictions apply to businesses in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Pathum Thani, Samut Sakhon and Samut Prakan.
As such, all shops selling books, eyeglasses, clothes, shoes, electrical appliances, office equipment, stationery, kitchen utensils, sports gear, cosmetics and pet shops which are located inside shopping centres, community malls and other similar venues must be closed.
Animal groomers, veterinarian clinics, hair salons, beauty clinics, tattoo parlours, manicure shops, as well as dental and fertility clinics, carwashes and laundries in such venues are also subject to the order.
Meanwhile, mobile phone and telecommunication counters, computer stores, shoe repair shops, locksmiths, and car service centres can remain open, she said, adding watch and clock workshops can only accept repairs. The closure was aimed at preventing crowds from gathering at department stores, shopping centres, community malls and the like, she said.
Outside shopping centres and community malls, beauty clinics, hair salons, dental and fertility treatment clinics are allowed to open with adjusted hours.