Thailand opens Phuket to vaccinated tourists

Thailand’s government is forging ahead with a program known as the “Phuket sandbox” to reopen the island to fully vaccinated visitors.

Phuket is planning to open to vaccinated visitors on July 1 and will be the first destination in Thailand to accept travellers without a mandatory quarantine

Instead of the hotel quarantines required elsewhere in Thailand, tourists on Phuket will be able to roam the entire island, but not travel to other parts of the country for 14 days.

To visit, adult foreign visitors must provide proof of two vaccinations, a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before departure, and proof of an insurance policy that covers treatment for the virus of at least $100,000, among other things. Once on the island, visitors have to follow mask and distancing regulations and take three COVID-19 tests at their own expense — about $300 total — and show negative results.

They also have to come from countries considered no higher than “low” or “medium” risk and fly directly to Phuket, though plans are in the works to allow carefully controlled transfers through Bangkok’s airport.

After 14 days, visitors are free to travel further in Thailand without other restrictions.


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