Starting July 1, tourists can visit Phuket without quarantining for the first time since March 2020.In Thailand’s much-discussed “sandbox” pilot scheme, its largest island has reopened to vaccinated travelers who are willing to abide by a laundry list of rules designed to safely restart tourism amid the pandemic. which stands in stark contrast to Thailand’s nationwide vaccination rate of around 4%. But confirmed Covid cases have dramatically fallen in Phuket. The island recorded single-digit daily cases this week, while Thailand as a whole reported its third-highest daily case total — 5,406 infections — on June 27.The “sandbox” plan turns Phuket into a testing ground for protocols that, if successful, will likely be introduced to other parts of Thailand — and potentially other destinations in Southeast Asia — this year. A test of tourists’ appetite for rulesBut Phuket, like most of Southeast Asia, isn’t making it easy for tourists to enter.According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), to avoid quarantining in Phuket, visitors must show:A vaccination certificate with a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization, or Thai health authorities, administered no fewer than 14 days before arriving; accompanying children are allowedA negative RT-PCR test (taken within 72 hours of departure)A medical insurance policy of no less than $100,000 that covers the stayAn approval called a Certificate of Entry to enterProof of payment for a 14-night stay and necessary Covid tests, or if staying less than two weeks, travelers must also show confirmed departure flights out of ThailandProof that travelers spent the preceding 21 days in a low-risk or medium-risk country outlined on a list that is mostly in Thai on the website of Thailand’s Department of Disease Control
Upon arrival, travelers must undergo a health screening and download a monitoring application called ThailandPlus. They must also take and pay for a Covid-19 test and await results at their hotel. Additional tests are required on travel day 6 or 7, and for those staying longer, again on day 12 or 13.Those who test negative can freely travel around Phuket, and after 14 days, to other parts of Thailand, provided they practice social distancing, submit to temperature checks and wear masks, according to the tourism authority’s website.Masks are required in public areas, such as the beach, and in cars.
In happier times, more visitors than RomeWith nearly 11 million arrivals, Phuket was the 15th most visited city in the world in 2019, according to a report by consulting firm Euromonitor International entitled “Top 100 City Destinations.”Sandwiched between Mumbai (No. 14) and Rome (No. 16), the island and its estimated 420,000 inhabitants punched above their weight on the list, which counts international travelers, but not domestic visitors, day-trippers and cruise passengers.
News source :- CNBC