From July 1, vaccinated international tourists arriving on the resort island of Phuket will be excluded from quarantine requirements. The city’s private sector and business groups have proposed a plan to inoculate at least 70% of the island’s residents in preparation for Phuket’s reopening.
Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said he will reopen the country in the sandbox model by limiting entry to some areas. Therefore, under the Phuket Tourism Sandbox, visitors to the resort island will be expected to have received two doses of the vaccine in their home country before entering the region.
In order to resurrect their tourism industry which took a giant hit last year due to Covid-19, the government intends to pilot the reopening programme in Phuket before extending it to other primary tourist destinations like Koh Samui. According to statistics, visitors to Thailand contributed one-fifth of the economy prior to the pandemic. An early reopening might improve the economy by more than 30 billion baht, but its progress is dependent on several other factors.
In the event of this plan’s approval, Phuket will reopen three months ahead of the rest of Thailand, which is due to host fully vaccinated tourists in October. The vaccine rollout will also prioritise Phuket locals, with more than 9 lac doses scheduled to be delivered before the reopening.
Furthermore, w.e.f. 1st April 2021, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has decided to shorten the quarantine period for both Thais and foreigners from 14 to 10 days.
Foreigners will need a “Covid-free certificate” but Thais will be checked wherever they are quarantined.