While Thailand is trying to remove the mandatory quarantine requirements that most visitors must meet by October, Phuket’s popular tourist attraction can do it in July. At least that is the plan recently proposed by Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand’s tourism minister.
One of the factors behind this proposal is that Phuket is a province that is expected to achieve a vaccination rate of 70% by then, which would result in obtaining herd immunity. This would make Phuket a “pilot province”, according to Phiphat. The next focus would then be in the vicinity of Krabi and Phang Nga.
These three places combine to generate a fifth of the country’s tourism revenue, with more than three quarters of the $ 20 billion that the region contributes in a year without a pandemic coming from Phuket.
A significant benefit for the reopening of this region in July, pointed out by Phiphat, is that the months following this date consist of the region’s low season – that is, its rainiest season of the year. From July to October, 48 inches of rain fall, more than half of Phuket’s annual total.
As a result, those involved in the tourism industry could easily reopen before the more expressive crowds that are expected from December to February, its dry season, when only 5 centimeters of rain is expected, 6% of the area. annual average. These are also the months when much of the world is experiencing cold weather and looking to take advantage of Phuket’s 90 degree conditions.
In the meantime, those who do not want to wait and would like to visit Thailand today can do so, but must meet strict entry requirements. This includes providing proof of a recent negative result from the COVID-19 test and quarantining for a period of 14 days at the expense of the traveler.
Regardless of whether the removal of the quarantine for visitors from Phuket in July works or not, that region and the rest of Thailand are looking to reduce the number of quarantine days in the coming months and make the most of the high season of 2021-22.
Proposals to allow quarantined people to leave their rooms to a limited extent at the beginning of quarantine periods are also being considered.
One option is to have vaccinated tourists undergo a seven-day quarantine and the rest to participate in a 10 days one instead of 14. However, visitors from Africa should note that these proposed quarantine reductions would not apply to them.
Whatever is decided with respect to the updated quarantine measures will be released to the public on April 1, according to Phiphat.