Thailand will ease quarantine restrictions for vaccinated foreign tourists arriving on the resort island of Phuket beginning July 1. This is the tourism-dependent country’s first major reopening.
The government intends to test the reopening plan in Phuket before expanding it to other key tourist hotspots such as Koh Samui in order to help restart the tourism industry which has been battered by a year without its millions of tourists, who used to contribute one-fifth of the economy prior to the pandemic.
“There are people who are fully vaccinated and ready to travel. But they would only choose destinations that have vaccinated its residents and don’t require quarantine”, said Yuthasak Supasorn of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, in a press statement.
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According to Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, a panel chaired by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha on Friday approved a proposal by Phuket’s private sector and business groups to immunise at least 70% of the island’s residents in preparation for the reopening of the island to vaccinated tourists.
Phuket will reopen three months earlier than the rest of the country, which is not expected to welcome fully immunised visitors until October…