Phuket ready for int’l visitors in July despite Thai covid wave

May 10, 2021 Travel
Thailand is going ahead using its reopening arrange for its resort island Phuket in July even while the united states struggles to contain its worst Covid-19 outbreak because the pandemic started out amid slow vaccinations.

The national tourism panel met on May 7 and affirmed the timetable for Phuket to be back in business on July 1, when the mandatory two-week quarantine will be dropped for vaccinated visitors, according to government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul.

The committee also endorsed October 1 openings for nine other popular destinations, including Bangkok and Chiang Mai, with restrictions eased in the others of Thailand in January, she said.

The success of the plans hinges on the power of each province to meet up the vaccination coverage of 70 % of its residents and hospitality workers, Traisuree said. The federal government will soon accelerate inoculation programs “to build confidence in both public and foreign tourists,” she said.

Thailand has administered about 1.7 million doses, enough to cover just 1.2 per cent of its population. However in Phuket -- designated important region -- about 22 % of its residents are fully vaccinated, according to Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, President of the Phuket Tourist Association. The island region will require yet another 700,000 doses to reach its 70 % target, Bhummikitti said.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy happens to be facing its biggest wave of infections, with the full total case count and deaths a lot more than doubling since early April. The surge in cases has prompted new restrictions and downgrades to the nation’s growth estimates this season.

Tourism, which made up about one-fifth of the economy pre-pandemic, is a cornerstone for just about any recovery. The federal government panel forecast 3.5 million foreign tourists in the 10 early-opening destinations in 2021, a fraction of the almost 40 million people who visited Thailand in 2019. It estimates USD 9.6 billion in tourism receipts this season, in comparison to over USD 60 billion in 2019.

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