Want to head home, get some J&J or Pfizer love, squeeze your parents and then return to Thailand?
While universal, 14-day quarantine-on-arrival was reimposed amid the churning third-wave outbreak, Phuket will be open to vaccinated travelers come July, with zero days of trapped-in-a-room isolation needed.
While hopes dim for a global recovery due to the slow rate of vaccination, Phuket is steaming ahead with plans to stage a tourism comeback by becoming a vaccination model by reaching herd immunity.
The government aims to provide nearly 1 million doses to Phuket by June to conduct the mass vaccinations necessary to achieve its so-called sandbox model on schedule, according to Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.
About 22% of Phuket residents – 104,000 of 466,000 people – have been jabbed at least once with the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine so far. Under the scheme, travelers may leave the island after seven days to other parts of Thailand.
The government is determined to inoculate 70% of residents by the end of this year to reach herd immunity and is looking to import more vaccines to attain the 100 million necessary doses. As of today, more than 1.7 million people nationwide have received at least their first shot, about half a million of whom have been fully vaccinated.
The Public Health Ministry will provide another 600,000 doses by June to help, according to local officials.