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Phuket getting ready for tourism sandbox campaign

Deputy Phuket governor Phichet Panaphong on Thursday held a meeting with the communicable disease committee, provincial public health office and representatives from the private sector at the city hall to discuss preparations and progress of the “Phuket Tourism Sandbox” campaign to be launched on July 1.

Under the sandbox scheme, tourists who can verify they have been inoculated with two doses against Covid-19 and test negative can fly into Phuket and move around freely without having to quarantine.

Similar schemes will be applied to other tourist destinations like Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Phang Nga and Surat Thani later when more people have been vaccinated and more preventive measures have been put in place.

Phuket getting ready for tourism sandbox campaign

“Tourists must provide the test result not later than 72 hours prior to arrival, and they will be tested again at the airport when they land,” said Phichet. “They can move freely in Phuket for seven nights before they can travel to other parts of the country.”

Dr Chaloemphol Sukhanthaphol, director of Vachira Phuket Hospital, added that the province had received 400,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine from the government and had already inoculated about 100,000 people since May 18.

Phuket getting ready for tourism sandbox campaign

“We expect to give 200,000 doses for the first jab from May 18 to 31, while the rest will be given as second jab from June onwards,” he said. “Also in June, another 150,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive. This will help us achieve the goal of inoculating 70 per cent of the population faster as AstraZeneca vaccine can increase immunity against Covid-19 by up to 70 per cent after the first jab.”

Phichet added that besides inoculating 70 per cent of Phuket locals, the province will also prepare hospitals and medical professionals in case of an unexpected event after the sandbox programme starts.

Phuket getting ready for tourism sandbox campaign

“We will prepare for the new era of tourism, whereas the quality of the tourists is the main focus instead of quantity. From now on Phuket’s tourism will be clean, safe, fair and environmentally friendly,” he said.

The deputy governor then answered inquiries from local entrepreneurs who attended the meeting and promised to use their suggestions in adjusting the framework of the sandbox campaigns before submitting it to the Cabinet and Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration for approval.

Published : May 21, 2021