Phuket’s highly anticipated reopening to tourism is now officially in effect, with the launch today of the Phuket Sandbox programme that welcomes fully vaccinated international visitors to the destination with no need to quarantine.
Under the scheme, which kicks off today July the 1st, foreigners who can verify they have been fully inoculated against Covid-19 and test negative can fly into the province and move around freely without having to quarantine.
Registrants also need to present evidence of payment for three Covid-19 tests at the hotel they are booked to stay at. The cost of tests is approximately 8,000 baht per person.
Right from Day one to four, major airlines including Etihad, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International (THAI) are flying direct to Phuket from cities like London, Frankfurt, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Singapore.
“The reopening of Phuket signifies a crucial step forward in the revitalisation of Thailand’s tourism industry with the island serving as a pilot destination. It is indeed wonderful to be welcoming visitors once again, and they can rest assured that their safety and well-being is of utmost importance to Thailand.”H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports
Much has been done safety-wise in the lead-up to the Phuket Sandbox launch. Of particular note is the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration or SHA certification scheme that was introduced in May 2020, and which is itself certified by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
There are currently well over 1300 hotels, restaurants, activities, attractions, shops, and other venues and businesses across Phuket that are SHA certified, meaning they have the required safety and hygiene measures to control COVID-19.
More and more of these are also becoming SHA Plus certified, meaning that at least 70% of their employees are fully vaccinated.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “It is with great pleasure we can now welcome the world back to Phuket. Fully vaccinated visitors can once again enjoy the famed beaches, warm hospitality, and many other attractions that have made Phuket one of the world’s favourite destinations.”
It is this longstanding popularity among travellers the world over that makes Phuket the ideal destination with which to restart Thailand’s tourism industry. The reopening of other places like Samui, Krabi, Phang Nga and Chiang Mai are planned to soon follow.
Among Phuket’s commitments to safely reopen to fully vaccinated visitors are the vaccination programme for 70% of the island’s population. To date, 80% of the people have already received their first vaccine dose, while more than 60% had received both doses.