Thailand: Phuket Reopens to Vaccinated International Travellers

Thailand: Phuket Reopens to Vaccinated International Travellers

© Shutterstock

Thailand: Phuket Reopens to Vaccinated International Travellers

Thailand: Phuket Reopens to Vaccinated International Travellers

© Shutterstock

Phuket has allowed vaccinated foreign tourists to enter the island, more than one year after the pandemic forced Thai borders to close. On Thursday 1 July, Phuket welcomed approximately 400 vaccinated tourists from Doha, Tel Aviv, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

This is a part of the new Phuket Sandbox programme, an initiative to recover the devastated economy. "In 2019, we had revenue from both domestic and international tourism at 3 trillion baht/$93.7 billion but in 2020 it shrank to 800 billion baht/$250 million," Thailand's Minister of Tourism Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said.

To prevent the spread of Covid-19, the programme requires tourists to quarantine for two weeks in an Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) facility. In addition, only fully vaccinated tourists from countries deemed to be from low- and medium-risk countries can enter Phuket.

The programme is expected to provide a model for safe tourism in Thailand. “It’s about how we get the confidence of tourists, people and government to extend to another area,” the deputy governor for international marketing at the Tourism Authority of Thailand stated.