No handicap as South Koreans swing by means of Thailand’s ‘golf quarantine’ By Reuters

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© Reuters. South Korean travellers take the Polymerase Chain Response (PCR) check, a way used to detect the coronavirus illness (COVID-19), on the Artitaya Nation Membership in Nakhon Nayok

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By Sangmi Cha and Hyun Younger Yi

SEOUL (Reuters) – At six within the morning, Heo Kwang-eum tees off one other day in Thailand in coronavirus quarantine – actually. He is one in every of dozens of South Korean guests spending two weeks in isolation enjoying golf at a resort an hour north of Bangkok.

The 66-year-old businessman is without doubt one of the first group of 41 Korean travellers to reach in Thailand beneath a ‘golf quarantine’ programme devised by the Thai authorities to spice up its ailing tourism sector throughout the pandemic.

On the Artitaya Nation Membership, the guests had been examined three days after arrival final week, and face a minimum of two extra checks earlier than they’ll exit quarantine. With bars and different resort services closed, there is not any prospect of a gathering for Heo and different visiting golf followers to thrash out the missed birdies, bogeys and shanks of the day, however spirits stay excessive.

“It is an enormous golf course right here,” mentioned Heo, talking in his room earlier than a packed lunch break to refuel earlier than heading out for his second spherical of the day, enjoying off a handicap of 10.

“Consider 41 Koreans {golfing} as you roam across the course, served by over 100 staff. It is like emperor’s {golfing},” mentioned Heo, kitted out in a sizzling pink golf shirt and shorts in a extra subdued shade of pink.

Heo mentioned different nations also needs to undertake the Thai marketing campaign and increase tourism by slicing days of confinement and permitting individuals to take walks or jog inside a boundary.

“It is extraordinarily arduous to go {golfing} in Korea nowadays due to COVID,” mentioned Heo, because of spend one other month in Thailand on enterprise after finishing quarantine. “Right here it is a golf paradise.”

The two.49 million gained ($2,240) worth of the bundle – paid for by the golfers – is affordable evaluating with the price of a 14-day isolation interval spent cooped up in an everyday lodge room, Ku Jung-keun, common supervisor of the Artitaya Nation Membership, advised Reuters.

“The golf quarantine presents three protected (coronavirus) checks and time to get pleasure from {golfing}. Medical doctors present each day well being check-ups for the company, too,” mentioned Ku.

The following group departs in two weeks, the golf membership’s Seoul operations director Hong Quickly-bong says.

“We’ve round 100 rooms out there for as much as 150 individuals. We’re receiving thrice extra inquiries (than in typical durations) in regards to the bundle,” Hong mentioned.

“For the reason that COVID outbreak final February, our firm reported little to no gross sales,” he mentioned. “It was very troublesome, however we got here to hope once more by means of this chance.”

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