Members Of The Thai Cabinet Visit Phuket, Believe The COVID-19 Sandbox Plan Is Ready For July 1, 2021

After an inspection, Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow and three other Cabinet ministers reaffirmed their readiness to reopen Phuket to vaccinated foreign tourists on July 1, 2021.

The deputy prime minister was briefed on details of the tourist sandbox by Phuket governor Narong Woonciew during Friday’s meeting.

Besides his wife, he was accompanied by Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakhomnusorn, and Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa.

Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to visit the island on July 1, 2021.

The Phuket governor said the sandbox scheme was an important policy and he was glad Phuket had been chosen as the pilot location for the program.

The governor said that the provincial authorities were determined to reopen the island on July 1, 2021, despite the uphill battle in trying to revive the island’s economy and with effective measures to control the spread of Covid-19.

Throughout the past months, everyone has worked together to put in place a system that will stem the spread of the virus and stop it from entering the building.

From another province, one must either have received two doses of Sinovac vaccine or one dose of AstraZeneca vaccine or have had a negative RT-PCR test 168 hours before arrival. Everyone else must still undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival, Mr Narong said.

According to Mr. Narong, the province must vaccinate at least 466,587 people, or 70% of the provincial population, to build up herd immunity.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT( has predicted about 129,000 foreign arrivals and that 500,000 Thais will also visit Phuket in the three months from July to September, the governor said.

Phuket is a test model to attract tourists domestically and internationally, although visitors will notice some changes.

Many natural attractions in Phuket and elsewhere in the South are eager to welcome back tourists whose numbers have plummeted since the epDeputidemic began.

Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association, hailed the sandbox scheme as a sign of hope for businesses on the island.

Upon reopening the province, 20,000 jobs were expected. If all went well, another 30,000-40,000 jobs would be created later on, and the economy would advance, he said.

Phuket Sandbox will open on July 1, 2021, to fully vaccinated tourists from selected low-and medium-risk countries. Following that, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao on July 15, 2021, will open to fully vaccinated tourists.

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