Phuket prepares for fully vaccinated foreign tourists, as 63% of locals inoculated

Image Credit: Phuket 101 Photo from

Thailand’s resort island of Phuket is preparing to open to foreign tourists in less than two weeks, with 63.3% of the local population having received their first doses and 30.2% being fully vaccinated.

Under the “Phuket Sandbox” project, the island is to pioneer the country’s reopening to foreign tourists, from July 1st, without a quarantine requirement. Incoming tourists will be required to present proof of complete vaccination (two doses of vaccines other than the single-dose Johnson & Johnson) and stay on the island, at SHA+ certified hotels, for a specified period of time, before being allowed to travel elsewhere in the country.

The island is preparing to reopen to foreign tourists, by improving ambience. Security and preventive measures as well as evaluation of the readiness of businesses with the SHA certification have been put in place. Employees, who are fully vaccinated, will also receive SHA+ certification. So far, 280 hotels have received SHA+ certifications.

Director-General of the Disease Control Department Dr. Opart Karnkawinpong revealed today that, so far, 346,855 people on the island have received their first dose, while 165,439 others have received both. While 119,732 people have not yet been inoculated, the island boasts the highest percentage of vaccinated population in the country to date.

Dr. Opart also said that, if the province finds more than 13 new infections per day, they might consider cancelling the “Phuket Sandbox” model.

Details of the model are yet to be finalized, pending cabinet approval next week.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha declared yesterday (Wednesday) the complete reopening of the country to foreign visitors in the next four months.


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