With less than 0.3% of foreign visitors testing positive for the coronavirus under Thailand’s strict “Sandbox” program on the island of Phuket, according to local media, plans to reopen much of the country next month seem more likely to come true.
The less positive news adds to the pressure to reopen the country, at least for the tourism industry: only 24,600 tourists have adopted the government on its “sandbox” model to travel without quarantine.
Officials were hoping for at least 100,000 vacationers in the third quarter and a related recovery in the important industry.
As the Governor of Phuket pointed out, it is virtually impossible to hit that target now.
Under the “Sandbox” model, it is possible for people to vacation on Thailand’s largest island since July 1, but they are faced with a strict regime of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. forced stays in a special hotel, a tracking app and health insurance to be able to participate.
While the rules hadn’t scared tourists off, an island-wide alcohol ban and Thailand declared a high-risk area by the UK government made it even harder for the country to entice tourists. .
The tourism sector in Thailand has been at a standstill for a year and a half due to the coronavirus pandemic. The number of contaminations in the country of 70 million inhabitants is slowly decreasing.