What may delay or even cancel Phuket sandbox plans

In this file photo taken on Sept 30, 2020 a lone customer walks past a swimming pool at the Vijitt Resort in Phuket. - AFP

BANGKOK (The Nation/ANN): Thailand’s tourism sandbox scheme kicks off on July 1 with Phuket opening its doors first before the scheme expands to Surat Thani’s three islands on July 15.

Some factors, however, may prompt the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to put the brakes on the programme or even cancel it altogether.

Under the sandbox, foreigners who can verify they have been inoculated against Covid-19 and test negative can fly into Phuket and move around freely in the province without having to quarantine.

After spending 14 days in Phuket and if they still test negative, the tourists can then travel to other parts of Thailand.

The CCSA, however, has warned that the sandbox scheme will be reconsidered or even cancelled if any of the following takes place:

• Phuket has more than 90 new infections per week

• Infections spread across all three of Phuket’s districts or six subdistricts

• More than three unlinked clusters are reported

• More than 80 per cent of hospital beds in the province are occupied by Covid-19 patients

• There is an uncontrollable spread of a mutated variant of the virus

The CCSA said it will employ the following measures based on the severity of the situation:

• Cut down the number of allowed activities

• Employ sealed route measures for tourists

• Make hotel quarantine mandatory

• Consider ending sandbox scheme altogether

As for Surat Thani’s Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Pha-ngan, which are scheduled to reopen on July 15, the CCSA will employ the above measures if infections in these three islands exceed the capacity of Koh Samui Hospital. - The Nation/Asia News Network

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Thailand , covid-19 , Phuket , sandbox , delay , reopen


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