Thailand introduces ‘yacht quarantine’ in tourism revival bid

Travellers to Thailand will be able to spend mandatory two-week Covid-19 quarantine on a yacht.

The Bangkok government hopes that the new initiative will bring 1.8 billion baht (£42 million) in yacht tourism revenue.

The initiative is aimed at reviving the country’s struggling tourism industry, which was hit hard by the pandemic.

The Tourism Authority of Thaialnd previously announced a scheme to allow visitors to spend their quarantine on one of five golf courses, with the first group of 42 just completing their 14-day ‘golf quarantine’ before travelling around the country.

International tourists were banned them last year to limit the virus spreading.

The yacht quarantine scheme will allow visitors with a negative Covid-19 test to spend their time on board a yacht or small cruise ship in Phuket.

Travellers are required to wear a smart wristband that monitors vital signs including temperature and blood pressure, as well as tracking the wearer’s location via GPS.

The device can transmit information even at sea, within a 10km radius, the government said.

The programme has already begun accepting yachters for a trial run, and around 100 yachts are expected to participate, the BBC reported.

Thailand’s tourism minister last week said he would propose a plan for foreigners to undertake quarantine in popular tourist areas, including beach resorts.

The hotel quarantine plan is expected to start in April or May in popular provinces including Phuket, Krabi and Chiang Mai.

Thailand has been gradually reopening its borders since October, having barred overseas tourist arrivals a year ago.