It seems like there is a new announcement regarding the “Phuket Sandbox” quarantine-free reopening every other day, and today there is the latest.
Main picture Phuket beach credit Alexandre Barbosa on Unsplash
The National Communicable Diseases Committee (NCDC) yesterday gave conditional approval to the project with final approval and details due to be announced by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) this Friday.
“The CCSA will finally approve the proposal this Friday, including a decision to open for foreign tourists on July 1.”
“Currently, 60% of the targeted population to get the vaccine [in Phuket] is already complete, with 330,000 people [vaccinated]. The province will reach its target later this month.”Anutin Charnvirakul, Thailand Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister
All travellers under the scheme will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, at least 14 days prior to arrival, with a vaccine authorised by the World Health Organisation (WHO). They would also need to have a negative Covid test issued within 72 hours of arrival.
Only travellers from countries where the Covid-19 situation is deemed to be under control or where the number of infections in moderate or low would be allowed entry.
Those lucky enough to visit will have a Covid-19 test on arrival plus additional tests on the 7th and 14th day. They will need to stay in Phuket for the first 14 days and, if all of those tests are negative, will then be able to travel throughout Thailand.
The Phuket sandbox is being watched closely throughout Thailand and elsewhere in the region. Its success will be an important factor in seeing other areas opening to foreign visitors.
Yesterday we reported that plans to reopen parts of Pattaya to foreign visitors had been dealt a blow with news that the Thai Public Health Ministry is unhappy with the plans.
Today however the same source, the Bangkok Post, is reporting that Pattaya’s reopening scheme has been selected as the pilot project for non-island provinces.
TAT is looking at the Pattaya scheme as the next pilot project once the Phuket Sandbox is finalised.
Numbers are expected to be low initially however with just 30,000-40,000 expected in Pattaya from August to October this year.
“The early stages of reopening will not attract many leisure tourists as it’s low season here and some are unsure about inconsistent regulations. We should observe the Phuket sandbox.”
“The market in the beginning is more likely to be business travellers or Thai returnees who want to skip mandatory quarantine in the capital, opting for a more relaxed location.”Thanet Supornsahasrungsi, Acting President Chon Buri Tourism Council
We wait further news on the Pattaya scheme in the coming days and weeks.
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