The 7 + 7 sandbox island extension program is expected to launch this month, with registration of entry certificates (COEs) for vaccinated tourists due on August 15.

The initiative is an attempt to boost the international tourist market by participating in the Phuket and Samui Plus sandbox programs.

Charintip Tiyaphorn, chairman of the Krabi Tourism Council, said the first group of international travelers in the 7 + 7 program who have made seven-day trips to Phuket will travel by boat to Krabi from August 22.

The ‘Krabi Even More Amazing’ reopening program includes Koh Phi Phi, Railay Bay and Koh Ngai, all of which have reported low-to-zero cases of Covid-19, while all local residents have been fully vaccinated.

In addition to Krabi, other destinations on the Island Hopping 7 + 7 program include Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao in Surat Thani, and Khao Lak, Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai in Phangnga.

The program was previously scheduled to be launched on August 1, but has been postponed due to an increase in local cases in Phuket and Koh Samui.

Yesterday, a subcommittee of the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) gave the green light to the 7 + 7 reopening plan, but it still requires final approval from the CCSA at its next meeting on August 11.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is working with Phuket Tourism Operators to help implement the SHA Plus Reservation Authentication System (SHABA) for Krabi operators to book guests, Ms. Charintip said.

SHABA is the back-end system for hotels under Safety and Health Administration Plus to manage reservations and payments for tourists.

She said tourists who want to join the Island Hopping 7 + 7 program should apply for the new type of COE, which will launch from August 15, as they need to book hotels in advance.

Any request prior to this date must comply with the same 14 day minimum stays in the Phuket sandbox.

Ratchaporn Poolsawadee, chairman of the Koh Samui Tourism Association, said the island is preparing to be part of the 7 + 7 extension program on the same date as Krabi and Phangnga.

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