Yesterday, the National Communicable Diseases Committee (NCDC) granted conditional permission to the so-called “Phuket Sandbox” tourism reopening program.
Anutin Charnvirakul, deputy prime minister and minister of public health, said tourists would be required to be vaccinated entirely and permitted to enter only from selected countries.
Mr. Anutin stated that the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) would finalize the Sandbox entrance requirements on Friday.
He was speaking yesterday following the NCDC’s approval of the Phuket Sandbox model, as recommended by the Tourism Authority of Thailand under Covid-19 constraints.
Foreign arrivals must be from countries where the Covid-19 situation is stable or where the infection rate is low/moderate.
Additionally, they should have had both vaccine doses at least 14 days before traveling to Thailand, and the vaccination they received must be World Health Organization-approved.
Furthermore, they should obtain a Covid-free certificate within 72 hours after entering the country, he said.
On the day of their arrival, they will undergo a Covid-19 check, followed by additional testing on days 7 and 14. They must also stay and travel inside Phuket for two weeks before traveling elsewhere in the country, assuming that all of their Covid tests come back negative.
“The CCSA will approve the plan this Friday, including a resolution to open to foreign tourists on July 1,” Mr. Anutin stated. “At the moment, 60% of the targeted population [in Phuket] has been vaccinated totaling 330,000 persons; the province will surpass its goal.”
The Phuket Sandbox is keenly watched by the rest of the country since there are hopes that restarting the tourism industry will help the country’s economy recover.
Additionally, the NCDC authorized the Department of Disease Control to determine if the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine can be extended to 16 weeks, despite previous recommendations that the gap should be just 12 weeks.