Thailand advances plans to reopen tourist destinations
The Thai government is planning to abandon the current mandatory quarantine of Bangkok for vaccinated visitors and five other major tourist destinations from October this year, and is working to reboot the country's ailing dying tourism industry.
Dr. Traisulee Traisoranakul of CCSA said the new measures will make it easier to access major attractions such as Pattaya, Phang Nga, Koh Samui, Krabi and Bangkok from October 1st.
Tourism and government officials in Phuket also claim that the pilot's "sandbox" scheme is preparing to open to vaccinated travelers from July 1. The positive move will take place from May 14 when local authorities announce a 14-day forced quarantine period to replace rapid antigen testing. The quarantine period is for all arrivals who are not fully vaccinated or who can provide a negative PCR Covid test within the last 72 hours. “No quarantine” is an important change for Thailand's new resumption policy.
Meanwhile, Tourism and Sports Minister Fifat Rachakitoplakhan reiterated this week that the island must register for zero new infections before a quarantine-free resumption is possible. In addition to the previous provision, the vaccination as much as 70% of the island's population is required. As of today, only 22% of Phuket's population is vaccinated, but new registrations are taking place next week. Phuket is vaccinated at this stage and is ahead of the rest of Thailand.
Covid-19 rapid antigen testing to the visitors to Phuket may end May 15th
Phuket Vice-Governor Piyapong Pue Won said he would consider discontinuing the Covid-19 rapid antigen test for people arriving in Phuket after May 15.
Entry into Phuket after April 22 is limited to travelers from the Red Zone states and requires proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test within the last 72 hours. Those who arrive without any of these is required the rapid antigen test. Thai people would be free and 500 baht would be tested for foreigners, and it caused the controversy over the Thai two-price system.
Current tests find no new cases for several days, and Phuket is urging the government to reconsider whether the amount spent is worth it. Since the program began on April 22nd to May 5th, up to the current figures, more than 40,000 people have been tested and only 22 enthusiastic infections have been identified. In addition, five of these infections were found to be false positives.
Phuket struggles towards herd immunity
So far, 22% of Phuket's population has been completely vaccinated against Covid-19.
The island provinces are running a mass vaccination campaign to administer a double-dose vaccine to 70% of the population by the end of June in order to reach herd immunity and resume foreign tourists. Tourism officials is also working to reopen Krabi, Phang Nga, Koh Samui, Pattaya and Chiang Mai.
Kiattiphum says the rest of the country will receive 160,000. Provincess with less than 1 million people receive 800 doses, provinces with a population of 1 to 1.5 million receive 1,000 doses, and larger states receive 1,200 doses. Priority is given to medical staff and frontline workers.