Connect with us

Tourism

UPDATE: Phuket’s tourism ‘sandbox’ plan gets approved by CESA

Avatar

Published

 on 

Phuket’s tourism sandbox plan has been approved, as of today, by The Centre for Economic Situation Administration. The meeting was chaired by the Thai PM. The scheme, which would allow vaccinated tourists to skip quarantine starting July 1, still needs to be discussed between the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the CCSA, and the Phuket governor before becoming official.

Tourists who wish to skip quarantine when they arrive still need to verify that they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and present a negative Covid test, according to Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister. If the plan goes smoothly, it is expected that other tourism-dependent areas in Thailand will follow suit, such as Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Krabi, and Surat Thani province (Koh Samui). Looking further ahead, it’s still planned to have Thailand re-open for tourist business, around the country, by October this year.

But there’s a catch.

Phuket, along with other areas who wish to skip the quarantines measures, will need to vaccinate at least 70% of its local residents before the new plan will be permitted to go ahead. As of now, the Andaman island is requiring 925,000 vaccine doses in order to follow through with achieving some sort of herd immunity amongst its locals. Deputy PM Supattanapong Punmeechaow says the plan would help boost the local economy.

“Phuket has been recognised by foreign tourists. But local businesses and people have suffered during the second wave the Covid-19 pandemic. They have joined forces and offered to be a re-opening model for major tourist provinces. They believe if the government supports the plan, the province should re-open before October.”

(As far as we can ascertain, no Phuket residents have been contacted about vaccination at this stage)

The Disease Control Department also announced today that the CCSA had agreed to reduce the mandatory quarantine period from 14 to 10 days. That will be for both Thais and foreigners, and starting April 1.

Yuthasak Supasorn from the Tourism Authority of Thailand says the local community will need to support the mass vaccination plan if the herd immunity goal is to be achieved in time for a July re-opening. He is optimistic local residents will be in favour, saying the plan is more detailed than last year’s “Phuket Model” and can guarantee the health and safety of the local population. the first round of vaccinations beginning on April 15, followed by the second from May 15.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Avatar

    sh

    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 8:35 pm

    Many residents have been contacted. Vaccinations will start 2 apr.

  2. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    “and present a negative Covid test” – Wonder if that is just a pre flight test, or also a test on arrival. It’s almost expected travelers will have to do a PCR test in order to fly, is that result good enough for Thailand? If you test also upon arrival, it’s in effect a double testing requirement. Would the arrival test be another PCR or just a rapid test? If it’s a PCR, and you don’t quarantine … well you can easily see the issues.

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    “Would the arrival test be another PCR or just a rapid test? If it’s a PCR, and you don’t quarantine … well you can easily see the issues.”

    … and if it’s “just a rapid test” … well, you can easily see the issues there too, Ed V!

  4. Avatar

    Bill

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 2:00 am

    so much fear over a virus that only kills the weak (isaan john would prob bite the dust if infected)

  5. Avatar

    Guy

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 2:47 am

    Round trip ticket to phuket please!

    Wonder how many legs there are from us to phuket

  6. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 4:16 am

    Yes John, I saw that issue too. Personally I expected the plan to include a 2-3 day testing quarantine. Problem is that doesn’t work if your intent is to get Chinese hordes showing up again. Since the selling point is the lack of any quarantine, why spend the extra money on a PCR test? Just do a rapid and be done with it. After all the Chinese won’t be happy if they get scooped up and thrown into a Thai hospital for 10-14 days half way through their trip. Better to have a test that won’t catch as many of them from the get go. It’s better than no arrival test at all right? It’s always about priorities, and Thai priorities have changed.

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 9:34 am

    “It’s better than no arrival test at all right?”

    The UK view of rapid tests, rightly or wrongly, was that they were actually worse since they’re so inaccurate.

    Up to 25% false positives and negatives – the false negatives will give a false sense of security, particularly for those vaccinated who will take less precautions even though they’re contagious, while the false positives will mean some tourists who thought they’d be enjoying a holiday will be quarantined in hospital instead pending a PCR test.

    Lose-lose, really ?

    The problem to me isn’t so much the increased risk, although obviously that’s considerable if you just do some simple maths with even AZ not stopping a quarter of those vaccinated carrying the virus, but the backlash when something goes wrong.

    Rather than a gradual opening, at least with a 2 – 3 day testing quarantine which is what I also expected, it’s basically saying ‘show a vaccination certificate and enjoy yourself from day 1’.

    The backlash, which seems inevitable once things start to go wrong, will set things back with more testing and more quarantine and things will then be a lot worse than if they’d been taken more steadily.

  8. Avatar

    J West

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 10:06 am

    Fake doc hotspots like Russia and India will no doubt have the printing presses running hot. Will we see Phuket behind barbed wire preventing escapee Bangkok bound asymptomatic strays the way we saw with the Samut Sakhon lock down? Are Thai who service the farang also now living inside “sealed routes” effectively quarantined? If a Massage Girl from Khon Khen wants to “ Bai Bahn” after exposure, will she quarantine before potentially setting the up-country on fire? I wonder if the Hotel Barons have thought this through?

  9. Avatar

    another overseas scot

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 10:14 am

    No mention of how to deal with kids, who cannot be vaccinated anywhere at this stage, but who are not identified as major carriers/transmitters. Unless this issue is resolved then take up will be significantly reduced.

  10. Avatar

    Willem

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 10:15 am

    Approved by CESA? WTF

    Its still just a proposal. Nothing realy decided.

  11. Avatar

    Ted

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    Who believes that they will be successful with “achieving some sort of herd immunity”? They don’t even know how many residents Phuket has and I don’t know any [educated] Thais who will go for the Sinovac vaccine. No, my guess is that this is just another plan that will be forgotten about pretty soon.
    With the first hurdle, that the Songkran celebrations doesn’t gives the government an opportunity scare up the population [again] and enforces yet another lockdown.

  12. Avatar

    GeoLeo

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    70% vaccination of the residents may be unrealistic. With the stigma that many traditional Asian people have towards medications, and if they are charged for the vaccination (like they are charged for simple Covid tests) then compliance will be especially poor. Even with seasonal flu vaccine in the USA a 40% compliance rate is average, and that’s with most people’s insurance covering the costs and much publicity and education to encourage citizens to get vaccinated. Thai people 70%? Doubtful. But lets hope it can happen. Something has got to jump start tourism or the economy will continue its drop to disaster.

  13. Avatar

    GeoLeo

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    Exactly. Only a planned proposal, not an approved action plan. So, the music just died at the end of the movie. Let’s hope it happens…

  14. Avatar

    Edward the Confessor

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    I’m afraid Thailand’s paranoia of catching this disease is their greatest enemy. And yet they live quite comfortably and fatalistically with the road deaths. Bill is absolutely right.

    There has to be a privately instigated risk reward balance between opening up and protecting the vulnerable. This is the reality in the west and what should have happened day 1.

  15. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    “ Lose-lose, really” – it appears no need to worry. I’m reading it will be a PCR test upon arrival with release pending result. Also some type of restriction on travel within Phuket is mentioned. No real details, but just the type of thing to give a person pause.

  16. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    Exactly, J West – but I wonder if ANYONE has “thought this through”.

    The backlash when it all goes pear-shaped will set back any recovery by months, if not years.

  17. Avatar

    zig

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    so are you allowed to travel to other parts of the country once arrived in Phuket?

  18. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    “I’m reading it will be a PCR test upon arrival with release pending result.”

    Where are you reading that, Ed V?

    “Also some type of restriction on travel within Phuket is mentioned.”

    Yes, “sealed routes” checked by the app. No chance of anyone having a second mobile they just leave in their hotel room, of course …

  19. Avatar

    Mike

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    “The backlash when it all goes pear-shaped will set back any recovery by months, if not years.”

    Interesting assessment – you’ve described a potential set-back as “pear-shaped” which, to my knowledge doesn’t describe any actual event or occurrence, yet you’ve managed to estimate a time-frame for a recovery, or at least the length that this mysterious event may last.

  20. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    “Interesting assessment – you’ve described a potential set-back as “pear-shaped” which, to my knowledge doesn’t describe any actual event or occurrence”

    Sorry, Mike, it’s an expression. “Pear-shaped” just means goes awry or badly wrong – it doesn’t mean shaped like a pear! ?

  21. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    “There has to be a privately instigated risk reward balance between opening up and protecting the vulnerable. This is the reality in the west and what should have happened day 1.”

    It did happen “day 1”, Ed the C.

    Did you see any Thais protesting about not “opening up” last year, with protests about everything from democracy to school uniforms to LGBT?

    Do you see any mass protests, even in Phuket which has to be hardest hit by not “opening up”?

    Even any minor protests?

    Of the 15 “tourism leaders” who signed the appeal to “open up” only one was Thai, the rest were all farangs.

    In every survey, without exception, the vast majority of Thais questioned chose not to “open up” until everyone had been offered a vaccine, and to keep quarantines.

    That doesn’t suit some people, though …..

  22. Avatar

    Tim

    Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 1:16 am

    I won’t book my tickets yet. Will have to wait and see how the vaccine roll out in Phuket first.

  23. Avatar

    JM

    Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    What are the rules around children coming into the country? Would they require to be vaccinated? If so would that then require a family of 4 (2 adults who have been vaccinated and 2 unvaccinated children) to then be quarantined? Family dynamics seem to be getting omitted from all conversations on this topic, especially children are currently not eligible to be vaccinated (and nor should they be)

  24. Avatar

    Iain Mc

    Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    Does Phi Phi come under this ruling? I would want to fly into Phuket and then get straight on a boat to Phi Phi. Also the question of children – my wife and I are both vaccinated fully but 8 year old isn’t so how would that work?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Cambodia20 mins ago

Rollout of Covid-19 vaccination for teenagers gets underway in Cambodia

Phuket45 mins ago

Man goes missing off Freedom Beach, Phuket

Phuket45 mins ago

Phuket tourism sector calls for island to be “green-listed” for foreign tourists – VIDEO

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Guides56 mins ago

Phuket’s best day trips and tours

Business1 hour ago

What is so important about the Sandbox?

Tourism1 hour ago

Thailand’s foreign tourist numbers expected to plummet during 2021

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Central Thailand2 hours ago

Nurse dies of Covid-19 a week after receiving first dose of Sinovac

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 18,901 new cases and 147 deaths

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Government says ongoing vaccination and obeying the rules will drive infections down

Insurgency14 hours ago

Suspected insurgent wanted for murder killed by forces in Pattani

Thailand17 hours ago

Phang Nga reopening and “Phuket Sandbox” island hop extensions postponed

Best of17 hours ago

Bangkok’s 5 best SHA Plus Certified hotels

Best of17 hours ago

Top 5 steakhouses in Phuket

Thailand18 hours ago

Bangkok Train Market official says they will reopen

Thailand18 hours ago

August vaccination plan: 80% of Bangkok residents; open to general public, expats

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending