HomeThailandThailand opens its borders to vaccinated tourists. Known details

Thailand opens its borders to vaccinated tourists. Known details

After months of border closures, Thailand today welcomed its first foreign tourists to Phuket in the so-called Phuket Sandbox. The Sandbox is Thailand’s only entry point for non-essential travel, providing visitors who stay longer than 14 days the opportunity to travel to other parts of Thailand.

The first flight of international tourists arrived in Phuket today using the Sandbox model. Under the terms of the program, fully vaccinated visitors from “low to medium risk” countries can enter Phuket without quarantine. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) states that arrivals must be fully vaccinated and must test negative no more than 72 hours before arrival.

Travelers on the Phuket Sandbox program must stay at a National Safety and Health Authority approved hotel for the first seven nights. While in Phuket, visitors are not required to be quarantined and are free to leave their accommodation and travel around the island, visiting beaches, restaurants and entertainment with few restrictions.

Thailand opens its borders to vaccinated tourists. Known details

Masks are required outside, and visitors must take a second test on the sixth or seventh day if they stay for less than a week. Visitors staying two weeks or longer must complete two additional tests on the sixth or seventh day and again on day 13 or 14. Visitors must also register with the government website and use an app that tracks their movements. After 14 nights in Phuket, they are free to leave the island and travel to other destinations in Thailand.

In preparation for tourists, many restrictions on the Phuket pandemic were lifted and the island’s tourism businesses were allowed to operate more or less normally.

The Phuket Sandbox is the first step in plans to open the Thai border. While there is currently a sharp rise in infections, especially the Delta variety, the country is making headway with plans to open its borders more widely this year. Speaking at a news conference in June, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said fully vaccinated visitors should be allowed entry “without quarantine or other inconvenient restrictions,” the Associated Press reported.

The country, dependent on tourism, has experienced an almost complete absence of visitors in the past year, and the government is seeking to reverse the country’s economic stagnation. Mass vaccination began in June at centers across the country with the goal of vaccinating 50 million people by the end of the year, or about 70% of the total population.

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