Less than 10 other similar vessels are also awaiting for approval from the government.
Three foreign-operated private yachts have arrived in Phuket as part of the island’s limited reopening to foreign tourism.
The three yachts arrived in the designated area of Por Bay, and were subject to COVID-19 screening and quarantine as instructed by the government in late October. This was confirmed by Vice Admiral Cherngchai Chomcherngpat, who commands the 3rd Naval Area Command.
Vice Admiral Cherngchai also commands the Thai Maritime Environment Command Center or Thai MECC, which had received orders from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on October 21 to facilitate the entry of foreign-owned yachts into Thailand.
Yesterday, Friday, was day one of the Kingdom’s admission of foreign yachts into its jurisdiction.
The Thai MECC is tasked with not only facilitating the arrival of the yachts and the monitoring of the vessels to make sure that they remain in their designated areas in Por Bay, Phuket, for the entirety of their quarantine periods.
In case of emergency, the Thai MECC will also provide assistance.
According to the Thai MECC, the three yachts are the following:
Crabby, an Austrian flag vessel that arrived directly from Europe.
Investigator II, operated by a Malaysian coming from another area in Thailand.
Cayenne, which came directly from Malaysia
The Thai MECC also said that there were other yachts that have asked for approval to enter Por Bay. The number is less than 10.
Phuket has earlier requested the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration to allow foreign-owned yachts and cruise ships to land in its vicinity. The provincial government has said that it is preparing to allow entry to about 60 of these vessels in October.
Similar to the Special Tourist Visa, passengers, operators and crew members of these vessels are required to prepare specific documentation in order to be allowed entry into Thailand. These include proof of accommodation, identification documents and health insurance.
Insurance policies accepted for foreign tourists must be at least US$100,000 or an equivalent of THB3 million for each visitor.
Foreigners must also present proof of consent to be subjected to 14-day quarantine.
In addition, vessels must turn on their Automatic Identification System 24 hours a day while traveling from their ports of origin and until they arrive in the Kingdom.
In other news, the government, through the Ministry of Public Health, has partnered with online hotel booking website Agoda in order to help incoming tourists and returning Thais book their alternative state quarantine accommodation.
Under the agreement, Agoda will display special packages that will allow people to choose hotels specifically for the quarantine purposes. This arrangement will help incoming tourists and returnees to cut time on booking their quarantine facilities as they comply with the regulations of the Public Health Ministry regarding 14-day quarantine.
Agoda’s platform will also allow quick and convenient payments, and 24/7 customer care support to answer guests’ concerns anytime of the day.
Tourists and repatriates can look at over 113 hotels that are enrolled in the ASQ system of the government, as part of public health safety measures in this time of pandemic.