Phuket Gears Up for July Reopening

Tourists already vaccinated against Covid-19 will be exempt from Thailand’s quarantine requirement.

Photo: Vitaly Sacred/Unsplash

Hankering for a beach vacation in southern Thailand? The good news is that you won’t have to wait too long if you’ve already received your coronavirus jabs. At a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha earlier today, top government officials approved a proposal to reopen Phuket to vaccinated travelers in July. This latest plan was put forward by local business operators and provincial authorities in a bid to revive the island’s battered tourism sector. It’s hoped that the strategy can be used as a model for  implementing similar schemes in other popular destinations around the kingdom.

But a prerequisite for the return of overseas holidaymakers is a ramped-up mass vaccination program; at least 70 percent of the island’s population should be immunized to achieve herd immunity before July. According to the Bangkok Post, provincial health authorities in Phuket will receive their second batch of 100,000 vaccine doses on Monday, with medical staff and hospitality and airport workers given priority, as well as those with underlying health conditions. It’s estimated that over 460,000 residents will require two doses of the coronavirus vaccine before the destination can safely reopen to the world, with the rest of Thailand following suit in October.

Tourists inoculated against the virus will be able to bypass Thailand’s two-week mandatory quarantines. They’ll need to show a vaccine certificate, hold a vaccine passport, or use the International Air Transport Association’s Travel Pass app to confirm their vaccination status. Travelers will also be subject to a PCR test on arrival and must then use the ThailandPlus tracing app during their stay in Phuket.

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