In a bid to revive the tourism industry, the government of Thailand has devised a “golf quarantine” programme that allows tourists to spend their two weeks of isolation playing golf at a resort.
The Thai cabinet along with the Department of Health approved golf quarantine in December 2020 and has recently released a list of certified golf resorts which visitors can use to play golf under strict Covid-19 protocols.
According to iVisa.com, people travelling from China, Macao, Hong Kong, Italy, Iran and South Korea require a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
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Now, instead of isolating themselves in a hotel room, travellers tee off for a round of golf and move around on the resort following a negative coronavirus test.
Golf quarantine offers visitors three coronavirus tests and provides daily health check-ups during their stay.
The managing director of the golfing division of Siam Motors Group, Masaya Furuta, told financial publication Nikkei Asia that the current circumstances were abnormal.
“You would never see this at this time of the year. Most of the dates would be crossed out,” said Furuta.
“It was bad enough that we were losing inbound golfers, but now the locals who were making up for them are also cancelling.
“Fingers crossed that the situation will improve and restrictions would be eased,” he said.
November to February is known as the dry season for tropical Thailand and known to be the peak golfing season with little rain and cool temperatures. It is also a time for holidaymakers from Europe, the United States, Japan and South Korea to escape their winter season.
Meanwhile, Thailand has kept its coronavirus infection rate below 26,000, with 24,734 recoveries and 83 deaths.