DestinationsThe island will be following Phuket's 'sandbox' model in hopes of achieving herd immunity ahead of July opening.

Next on Thailand's reopening list: Samui?

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Koh Samui hopes to vaccinate 70% of its population to reopen the island to foreign tourists in July.
Koh Samui hopes to vaccinate 70% of its population to reopen the island to foreign tourists in July. Photo Credit: Getty Images/tupikov

Last week, 25,000 locals in Koh Samui received their Covid-19 jabs, as part of a larger plan to vaccinate 70% of its population towards herd immunity and hopefully reopen in July, just like Phuket, reported Thai online outlet, Thaiger.

These vaccines were administered from 2-7 April to frontliners from Bangkok Hospital Samui and Koh Samui Hospital, staff at Central Festival mall, Samui and International College Tourism, and Suratthani Rajabhat University.

The first group of employees at Samui Airport has received two doses of Covid-19 vaccines in preparation for the opening of flights from overseas to the island. The airport expects that their employees will achieve 100% vaccination by early May 2021.

Samui's reopening plan is based off Phuket's ‘sandbox’ model, where the travel sector is currently rallying in a major push for vaccine rollout, including turning resorts into vaccination venues, so as to turn the proposal into a reality.

While there's no official name tied to the plan, for now 'Samui Silk' hopes to welcome vaccinated visitors back by July, inclusive of a seven-day quarantine, said the president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui said, as reported in Pattaya News.

This is different from Phuket's reopening plan, which will waive off quarantine requirements for foreign visitors come 1 July.

Thailand is expected to reopen to vaccinated tourists come 1 October, but in recent days the country is currently seeing a spike in Covid-19 infections.

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