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“Sandbox” tourism scheme for foreign travellers in the works for Phuket

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Stock photo by Mike Swigunski for Unsplash

Tourism officials are working on what they’re calling the “sandbox,” a new pilot program to reopen Phuket and other destinations by the Andaman Sea to foreign visitors. The sandbox is like the “travel bubble” idea and would allow quarantine-free travel to certain areas.

The sandbox model will be pitched to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration next Friday, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Rachakitprakarn says. But the scheme depends on how many people are vaccinated against Covid-19.

Prior to today’s announcement that the Thai government is delaying vaccinations with the AstraZeneca jab, Phiphat had said he expects the sandbox model to start in Phuket in July, but the majority of people living in the island province need to be vaccinated.

“About 70% of people in Phuket must be vaccinated, which means about 900,000 doses of vaccine are needed for 450,000 people.”

Recently, the government announced that the mandatory quarantine period for travellers vaccinated against the coronavirus will be reduced from 14 days to 7 days. Vaccinated foreign travellers arriving to Phuket will be swab tested and then enter check in to an “Area Local Quarantine” hotel, Phiphat says.

“At this stage, the Ministry of Public Health only allows tourists to remain in their rooms, but we will propose to the CCSA to allow tourists to go out of their rooms from Day 1 of their quarantine.”

A traveller must be tested for Covid-19 a second time before being released from quarantine. Those who have not been vaccinated must quarantine for 10 days. Phiphat says he’s still waiting on an official confirmation on the new quarantine measures.

SOURCE: Phuket News

 

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