Foreign visitors will be allowed entry to Phuket without quarantine from 1 July, with nearly a million doses of Covid-19 vaccine ready for local residents before then, under a plan approved by provincial authorities.
Deputy governor Pichet Panapong said the infectious diseases committee approved the proposal. “Phuket has been without any new Covid-19 cases for 89 days. There is in urgent need for foreign tourists here, to stimulate the economy and tourism sector,” he said.
According to the deputy governor, Phuket had 120,000 rooms in about 600 hotels. A survey concluded that foreigners do want to visit Phuket, if it reopens without quarantine. He said deputy prime minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow had earlier instructed Phuket to reopen to foreign visitors on 1 July. He said those foreigners who visit without undergoing quarantine, will be tracked using the Covid-19 tracing mobile app.
Phuket health authorities planned to acquire 930,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine before July 1, for the local population, and foreign visitors’ movements would be tracked by phone app, Panapong said.
A similar reopening scheme will also be applied to Pattaya. He added that the ministry will rush to procure vaccines to create more sandboxes in places like Chiang Mai, Krabi, Phang Nga and Surat Thani by 1 October.
(With inputs from Bankok Post, Thai Tiger and Nation Thailand)