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Bangkok Sandbox: open businesses to vaccinated customers

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: Instagram Argosyeav

Perhaps feeling a bit jealous of more easily isolated tropical islands with their Sandboxes, who are reopening despite their own rising Covid-19 infections, the private sector has proposed its own reopening in the capital they are calling the Bangkok Sandbox. A “Factory Sandbox” has already been put into use in the industrial sector that maintains safety and confidence in the export trade by isolating infected industrial workers and vaccinating them.

The president of the Thai Chamber of Commerce said they have concocted a scheme to start reopening businesses in Bangkok safely by limiting their customers to only those people who have been vaccinated. The Bangkok Sandbox plan proposed would take 3 steps to allow for reopening: create a standard and certification for Covid-19 safety, create a Digital Health Pass, and begin small with a pilot program.

The first step would be to create a system similar to the SHA Plus certification that hotels and tourism businesses use in the Phuket Sandbox. The system would ensure that certified businesses in the Bangkok Sandbox have at least 70% of employees are vaccinated and that health and safety guidelines to protect against Covid-19 are being followed at the business.

The second step in the Bangkok Sandbox would be a verification system of who is vaccinated and relatively safe from Covid-19 risk. The proposal suggests at Digital Health Pass to confirm vaccination of patrons. Applications like Mor Prom, which many people used to register to get vaccinated, will already have that info stored in the government database so verification would be easy.

A Digital Health Pass would use the database already maintained by the Public Health Ministry. The proposal also mentioned the use of antigen test kits to prove customers are currently safe from Covid-19 infection, though details were vague.

The final step in the three-part plan would be to start small. The Bangkok Sandbox idea would be gradual, starting with a pilot program that tested these other 2 steps on a small number of retail businesses that are ready to adhere to them. Businesses must be willing and able to follow the guidelines and rules carefully to ensure everyone’s safety.

A bit oddly though, the plan mentioned that retail businesses would declare themselves ready for reopening, with no mention of regulation over the process.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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