The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has reiterated that Phuket is on track to welcome vaccinated tourists without quarantines with less than a month to go until the destination's 1 July reopening date.
Under the pilot Phuket Sandbox programme, the Thai island will be the first destination in Thailand to reopen in the third quarter to fully vaccinated foreign visitors from low-risk countries under strict rules and regulations.
Details as to which countries qualify as "low-risk" are yet to be revealed, although the TAT says it will update its website regularly with information as it becomes available.
Based on regulations revealed by the tourism authorities so far, international tourists are required to fly straight into Phuket and must stay in destination for a minimum of seven nights before being permitted to travel to other parts of the country.
They are required to undergo rapid antigen tests, or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT- PCR) tests, at their place of origin, and to register on www.gophuget.com and the MorChana application.
Prior to departure from their place of origin, they must provide documents to prove that they have received both Covid-19 vaccine doses. They will also need to obtain a certificate of entry from the Thai embassies, have insurance cover with a minimum of £50,000 (US$70,900) specifically for medical care, and present negative Covid-19 test results.
Direct flights to Phuket are expected to begin 1 July, with airlines such as Thai Airways, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, British Airways and Qatar Airways announcing at least once weekly flights from July onwards.
Further expanding the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) certification programme launched in May, the Amazing Thailand SHA+ logo will be awarded to hotel establishments in Phuket where at least 70% of staff are inoculated.
Under the Sandbox model, Phuket plans to safely achieve herd immunity against Covid-19 for 70% of the island’s population by 30 June 2021.
To date, 54% of Phuket’s population have received Covid-19 vaccines, while Phuket is working to contain local transmission and bring the number of new coronavirus cases close to zero.