Thailand to open Phuket to tourists without quarantine requirement

Bangkok, June 22 (EFE) .- Thai authorities announced on Tuesday that the popular island of Phuket will be open to tourists vaccinated against Covid-19, without mandatory quarantine, from July 1 in a measure to revive the sector tourist in difficulty.

Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Anucha Burapachaisiri told a press conference that if the reopening of Phuket, located in the Andaman Sea, produced favorable results, the model would be replicated in others. he is.

Currently, tourists arriving in Thailand must observe a 14-day quarantine in hotels or special government centers that they cannot leave at any time until the period is over and they have tested negative for the new coronavirus.

The authorities plan to withdraw soon the quarantine requirement for the islands of Tao, Samui and Phangan, located in the province of Surat Thani in the Gulf of Thailand, from July 15.

However, the partial reopening may be canceled if the infection begins to increase and the availability of intensive care beds in island hospitals is affected.

The government plans to end the mandatory quarantine for vaccinated travelers nationwide from October, in a bid to save tourism sectors, which accounted for 12-20% of Thailand’s GDP before being crippled by the pandemic.

After closing its borders and applying other measures early on, Thailand remained relatively untouched by the pandemic until the recent outbreak that began in March and led to more than 225,000 cases, with nearly 1,700 deaths recorded to date.

So far, immunization has progressed at a slow pace, with just 2.22 million people or 3.36 percent of the population having been fully immunized. About 5.67 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Thailand’s vaccine strategy largely depends on Chinese laboratory Sinovac and British-Swedish AstraZeneca, which is expected to locally produce millions of doses of vaccine to be supplied both nationally and to other countries in the region, although that supply has been affected by delays in recent weeks.

Other countries in the region are also planning to set up similar schemes for their tourist islands: Indonesia’s tourism ministry announced on Tuesday that the island of Bali would soon be open to vaccinated tourists, while Vietnam plans to vaccinate all. the inhabitants of the island of Phu Quoc in order to receive the vaccinated travelers without compulsory quarantine. EFE

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