The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced that Phuket will reopen to vaccinated foreign visitors, quarantine-free, from July 1.
TAT governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, said the plan to reopen the country in stages had been approved in principle and Phuket was the pilot destination, according to a TAT media release.
Preceding the opening of Phuket, an interim arrangement will be in place, in which, from April 1, foreign travellers vaccinated against COVID-19, will be allowed into Phuket under a 0+7 quarantine in a sealed area (0+7 means they must remain in their hotel accommodation for the first seven days and will then be allowed to engage in leisure tourism activities in specified areas).
Then, from July 1, vaccinated foreign travellers may visit Phuket without quarantine. However, for both stages, all foreign tourists wanting to enter Phuket must present proof that they have received two doses of the vaccine recognised by the World Health Organisation. Other essential documents will be a medical certificate of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure from origin, a Certificate of Entry issued by a Thai Embassy; a valid visa or re-entry permit and a travel health insurance policy.
On arrival at Phuket International Airport, tourists will have to undergo a COVID-19 screening, including PCR tests, and download the specified track-and-trace app to ensure that they only visit the designated areas.
TAT says the ‘0+7’ reopening plan could be tested in other destinations, including Krabi, Phang Nga, Ko Samui, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai. “Phuket will be the pilot destination that will lift quarantine requirements from July 1 onwards, while other destinations will still require a seven-day quarantine. Starting from the fourth quarter of this year, quarantine is expected to be lifted entirely in all areas,” said TAT’s media release.
TAT suggests that travellers and agents enquire at the Royal Thai Embassy in Pretoria for more details, pending the official announcement mid-April.