Foreign visitors who have been vaccinated will be allowed to fly directly into the island of Phuket, beginning from July 1, and do not have to be subjected to a period of quarantine, both the Bangkok Post and The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
However, should they want to travel to other parts of Thailand, they must remain within the island for two weeks.
Visitors must also be from countries that have been deemed by Thailand as having either a low- or medium- risk of Covid-19 transmission.
The measures are part of a plan known as the Phuket Sandbox scheme, which aims to revive the tourism industry within the island, and ultimately determine Thailand's ability in balancing public healthcare needs and economic recovery, Nikkei Asia further reported.
Must still show negative Covid-19 test pre-departure
Vaccinated visitors will still have to abide by several requirements prior to entry however.
According to TAT, these requirements include, among others:
- A vaccine certificate as proof that they have been vaccinated no less than 14 days and no later than a year prior to the travel date,
- The vaccine having either been approved by Thailand's Ministry of Public Health or the World Health Organisation (WHO) such as,
- Sinovac, Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech,
- A negative result for a Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure,
- Covid-19 health insurance policy with a minimum coverage of US$100,000 (S$132,600),
- A valid visa and Certificate of Entry issued by the local Thai embassy,
- Downloading and installing Thailand's contact-tracing app known as ThailandPlus, and
- Showing proof of a booking that does not exceed 14 nights, at an accommodation certified by Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) Plus.
Seven airlines to begin flying into Phuket from July
Nikkei Asia further reported that seven airlines are slated to begin flying into Phuket in July.
Starting from July 2, Thai Airways International will begin flying in European tourists from the cities of Paris, Frankfurt, Germany and Copenhagen, while flights from London and Zurich are expected to begin the next day.
As for the other six airlines that have received approval to fly into Thailand, they are British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Emirates, and El Al.
Other airlines that are expected to join the participating airlines include Singapore Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Taiwan's EVA Air, Korean Air, and KLM among others, TAT further stated.
Lukewarm reception to scheme
The Nation Thailand reported that the scheme does not appear to be too well-received with foreign tourists thus far however.
Thailand's Minister of Tourism and Sports, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, was quoted saying that over 50 per cent of 29,700 foreigners, who had initially confirmed their Phuket travel plans, had cancelled in light of the requirement to stay on the island for 14 days before being able to visit other parts of the country.
Should there be no infections after a month of running the scheme, the ministry will consider lowering the requirement to seven days, he added.
Top image from Nai Yang Place - Phuket Airport Facebook