Thailand’s government is reportedly ready to reopen the popular holiday island of Phuket to vaccinated foreign tourists on a trial basis in July.
The Bangkok Times reports the government are preparing to sign off the plans, which would allow travellers to head to Phuket and forego any quarantine requirement.
It comes after a public-private sector coalition of tourism stakeholders drew up a reopening plan dubbed the Phuket Tourism Sandbox.
Under the proposals, it is hoped the original 1 October date for the island to reopen to tourism can be brought forward to 1 July. The plan will be subject to achieving 70% vaccination in Phuket, the Times reports.
Prospective tourists will have to show a vaccine certificate or pass, or a vaccination document certified by Iata’s Travel Pass. They will also be required to take a PCR test upon arrival and activate the ThailandPlus Covid tracing app while in Phuket.
Thailand’s National News Bureau on Friday (26 March) reported the country’s prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha chaired a meeting of the country’s Center for Economic Situation Administration on measures "to receive more foreign tourists" in accordance with the country’s Covid controls.
The developments come after more than 12,000 people backed the industry-led Open Thailand Safety campaign launched earlier this month.
Pata UK and Ireland chair Chris Crampton said: The reopening of Phuket first, one of Thailand’s most popular destinations for international visitors, comes as very welcome news.
"This is a great step forward and highlights it’s now a matter of when and how the tourism industry will return rather than if, and this is progress and gives cause for optimism.
"A handful of other countries in the Asia Pacific region are now in the early stages of reopening their borders for tourism which is also encouraging. The future is brighter, and we will get there.”