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More on the “sandbox” plan to reopen Phuket to foreign tourists, idea to be pitched to CCSA

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Photo by Mike Swigunski for Unsplash

The so-called “sandbox” travel bubble idea, which would allow vaccinated travellers from certain low risk countries to enter Thailand without undergoing quarantine, will be pitched by the tourism officials at Friday’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration meeting. Phuket is set to be the first area to try out the sandbox model once the scheme is approved.

If the CCSA moves forward with the sandbox plan, Thai officials will start negotiations with foreign counterparts to arrange the travel bubble for those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn. Travellers will only be allowed to visit certain areas under the sandbox model.

Chinese tourists are most likely to be the first to visit Phuket under the sandbox model, Yuthasak says. Tourism officials aim to start the sandbox model in July.

But to get the sandbox scheme going in Phuket, 70% of the island’s population need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, reaching herd immunity. Phuket has a permanent population of 400,000 people at this time.

Private businesses in Phuket have made a formal request for 900,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says the request is likely to be approved by the government. 100,000 doses of the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine has already been allocated for Phuket. The Public Health Ministry is also speeding up vaccinations on the island to prepare for the anticipated return of foreign tourists in July.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

 

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