Thailand: Phuket to reopen as planned

  • The government still intends to press ahead with its plan to reopen Phuket to foreign tourists on 1 Jul 21, despite battling another surge of Covid-19 infections.
  • The government’s committee on national tourism policy, chaired by Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, confirmed the plan — made before the new outbreak of Covid-19 struck Bangkok and other parts of the country early Apr 21 — will still be implemented.
  • The reopening plan will be divided into four phases — the first phase has already been in place since 1 Apr 21, when a number of foreign tourists with proof that they had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 were allowed to enter Thailand provided they agreed to undergo a period of quarantine as imposed by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
  • The second phase called “Phuket Sandbox” is due to begin on 1 Jul 21, when vaccinated tourists will be allowed to enter Thailand via Phuket, where they won’t have to undergo any Covid-19 quarantine, said Ms Traisuree.
  • In the third phase, due to begin on 1 Oct 21, the vaccinated tourists in Phuket will then be allowed to travel to Krabi, Phangnga, Surat Thani, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Buri Ram, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Bangkok without any new quarantine requirements.
  • The fourth and final phase, due to begin on 1 Jan 22, will allow any foreign tourists certified to have been fully vaccinated to be allowed to enter Thailand and freely travel around.
  • Phuket governor Narong Wunsiew said Phuket’s plan to vaccinate 60-70% of its population was now 22% complete, with 15,000 people getting jabs each day.
  • The province will next increase the number of vaccination venues from five to nine, in a bid to achieve its goal well before its scheduled July reopening, he said.

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