(Xinhua) — Thailand has been ready to kick off the Phuket Sandbox campaign on Thursday to open the resort island to vaccinated international visitors, Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said Monday.
Hotels and other tourism-related venues throughout the island province have been prepared for the reopening campaign whereas up to 80 percent of Phuket’s residents, including those hired in hotel and tourist industry, will have been vaccinated against COVID-19 by Wednesday, Yuthasak said.
An estimated 400 to 500 foreign tourists are scheduled to arrive in Phuket on Thursday and many more are expected to follow at later dates, he said.
Under the Phuket Sandbox program, foreign tourists will be allowed to enter and move freely on the island, provided they are fully vaccinated against the virus and tested negative. They can travel to the rest parts of Thailand after staying on the island for 14 nights.
The move comes as Thailand is struggling to contain a months-long surge in infections. On Monday, the country reported 5,406 COVID-19 cases, the third highest daily tally since the pandemic began, raising the total case tally to nearly 250,000.