NITN | @notintownlive | 03 Jun 2021, 06:35 am
Bangkok/NITN: Thailand’s famous beach resort Phuket will open its borders to fully vaccinated international visitors from low-risk countries starting July 1 this year, subject to conditions.
These international visitors will not be required to go into quarantine but must remain in Phuket for at least seven nights before travelling elsewhere, a release from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said.
Phuket will be the first destination in Thailand to reopen to vaccinated foreign tourists.
However, Thailand is yet to open its borders to travellers from India along with several other countries.
TAT in collaboration with Phuket tourism stakeholders expressed their commitment to safely reopen Phuket to local and international visitors under the ‘Sandbox’ model.
TAT Governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, who had to show proof of his vaccination and undergo all entry requirements in compliance with Phuket’s COVID-19 control measures, said, “This is testament to Phuket’s commitment to reopen the island safely to not just fully vaccinated foreign tourists, but also Thai visitors, while maintaining public health safety for everyone living on the island.”
Under the Sandbox model, Phuket plans to safely achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 for 70% of the island’s population with the number of new COVID-19 cases being close to zero by 30 June, 2021.
Phuket Vice Governor, Pichet Panapong, said, “As of 1 June, 2021, Phuket’s vaccination programme has reached 54 per cent of the population, mostly among locals and non-residents. We expect the vaccination to reach 70 per cent of Phuket’s population by 30 June, 2021.”
According to a release, in addition to the vaccination programme and COVID-19 containment measures, Phuket is also working on landscaping as well as addressing other safety measures; such as, road safety, water transport safety, and similar types of tourists’ safety to safely welcome back all visitors.
Meanwhile, Phuket is the first destination to elevate the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) certification programme with the Amazing Thailand SHA+ initiative.
Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, President of the Thailand Hotels Association (THA) Southern Chapter, said, “The Amazing Thailand SHA+ logo is awarded to hotel establishments in Phuket where at least 70 per cent of staff are inoculated. Phuket hotels are now ready to welcome back guests.”
Introduced in May 2021, the Amazing Thailand SHA is used to assess 10 types of business; namely, restaurants and diners; hotels, accommodation and homestays; recreational activities and tourist attractions; transportation; travel agencies; health and beauty; department stores and shopping centres; sports for tourism; activities and meetings, theatres and entertainment, and souvenir shops and other shops.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) recently certified the Amazing Thailand SHA certification in alignment with the WTTC SafeTravels protocols.
Thaneth Tantipiriyakij, President of the Phuket Tourism Council, added, “When we are talking about reopening Phuket, we are not only talking about Phuket, but we are talking about reopening Thailand. Also, the reopening effort is to welcome back everyone, both local and international visitors, because each and every one is important to the revival of Thailand’s tourism.”
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