The Thai government says they’re pressing ahead with plans to waive the current mandatory quarantine for vaccinated visitors to Bangkok and and 5 other major tourist destinations from October this year as an effort to reboot the country’s battered tourism industry.
Phuket tourism and government officials also maintain that they are preparing to open up to vaccinated travellers in 7 weeks, in a pilot ‘sandbox’ scheme. The positive moves forward come at the same time local officials announced a mandatory quarantine period of 14 days for visitors from outside the province, starting May 14, to replace the rapid antigen test. The quarantine period would be for all arrivals who hadn’t been fully vaccinated or could provide a negative PCR Covid test within the past 72 hours.
The ‘quarantine-free’ is the key change to Thailand’s new re-opening policy but it remains to be seen what paperwork or current restrictions may stay in place – nothing has been announced. The questions of who will visit or what is left open for them to enjoy when they arrive, is still all up in the air.
Meanwhile the Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, reiterated this week that the island would have to register zero new infections before any quarantine-free re-opening would be able to occur, adding to the earlier provision that 70% of the island’s population will need to be vaccinated as well. As of today, only 22% of Phuket’s population have been vaccinated but a new round of registrations is happening in the next week. Phuket is way ahead of the rest of Thailand with vaccinations at this stage.
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