Cabinet Agrees on Phuket “Sandbox” Foreign Tourism Program


BANGKOK (NNT) – The Cabinet has agreed on the Phuket “Sandbox”, a foreign tourism reopening program, scheduled to start next month as a prelude to a tourism revival in Thailand’s 10 most popular tourist destinations, as proposed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said, after the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday, that the tourism reopening plan has already been approved, in principle, by the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA).

He said the plan, starting with the resort island of Phuket on July 1, will welcome tourists from countries with low and medium risk of COVID-19 transmission and who are fully vaccinated.

The prime minister said that about 400,000 people in Phuket, or more than 60% of its entire population, have already been vaccinated against COVID-19, adding that the Sandbox’s implementation will come as a test of Thailand’s ability to strike a balance between maintaining public health security and the need to salvage the economy.

Foreign tourists intending to visit Phuket under this tourism promotion program will be required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 at least 14 days before travelling, along with a document giving permission to enter Thailand. While staying here, these tourists will be required to undergo a number of COVID-19 tests.