3 April 2020
TRAT: About 10,000 tourists remain on Koh Chang as authorities there prepare for a flood of arrivals from the shut down beaches and bars around Pattaya, after their call for the province to be locked down against Covid-19 was rejected.
Saksit Mungkang, secretary-general to the Trat provincial tourism industry council, said on Thursday the atmosphere on the tourist island was more sombre than it was 2-3 days ago, when at least 1,000 tourists were arriving each day, Thais and foreigners.
The number had dropped suddenly, by half, Mr Sangsit said.
There were still about 10,000 tourists, mostly foreigners, on the island. There were also about 10,000 business operators and staff, and around 8,000 permanent residents.
Asked about reports that foreign tourists from Pattaya would flock to Koh Chang now Chon Buri provincial authorities had ordered the closure of beaches there, he said Koh Chang officials had already made preparations to deal with the possibility.
“Tourists who arrive at the island after April 5 will have their travel record strictly checked. If they are not Trat residents they will be asked where they are from and will be closely monitored. Public health officials will keep a close eye on them during their stay on Koh Chang,’’ said Mr Sangsit.
The provincial communicable disease committee met on March 31 to consider a letter from tourism operators and local leaders on Koh Chang for a lockdown of the island and the province from April 5, Post Today reported.
They decided against it, feeling it was unnecessary because so far there were no Covid-19 cases in the province.
Trat governor Wichian Limwongyoo, who chairs the provincial communicable disease panel, was expected to go to Koh Chang on Friday to meet the local leaders there.