Phuket Sandbox to continue although province bans domestic arrivals


BANGKOK (NNT) – Phuket province will continue to accept international tourists as part of the Phuket Sandbox campaign despite the surge of COVID-19 cases in the country. The island province has activated stricter disease control measures including a ban on domestic arrivals to keep local COVID-19 cases low.

The Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has confirmed the Phuket Sandbox campaign for international tourists is still in a good position to operate, despite a surge in COVID-19 cases in other parts of the country.

He said local cases in Phuket itself are relatively low, while no clusters have yet been reported.

For the safety of locals and tourists alike, Phuket province has intensified its disease control measures and mobility controls. Effective from 3rd until 16th August, domestic arrivals either by land, water, or air are not allowed, with a few exceptions such as logistics workers, healthcare workers, and those departing on an international flight from Phuket Airport.

More venues and activities posing risk of COVID-19 transmission will also be closed during this period.

The Prime Minister said that Phuket province has so far welcomed 12,395 international visitors since the Sandbox campaign opened, with the average spending of tourists measured at 60,000 baht each. The campaign has so far generated 749.95 million baht in revenue.

The government anticipates successful outcomes from Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus campaigns will help the country welcome more tourists in the peak tourism season starting in October, with more provinces including Krabi and Phang Nga now planning to open their doors to international visitors.

The Prime Minister has asked all concerned to help promote a good environment for tourism, and help regain the confidence of tourists, while adding that successful results from the Phuket Sandbox campaign could be adopted by other countries seeking ways to restart their tourism sectors in a similar manner.