Phuket in Thailand is a favorite Travel destination, and Coronavirus has hit its tourism industry hard. The Tourism Authority of Thailand TAT director is hopeful of a bright future ahead for Phuket between July and September this year. The country is battling the third and worst wave of the pandemic. However, the popular resort island of Phuket could be an exception. There are plans to reopen it for foreign tourists next month. The TAT confirmed that vaccinated travelers from low-risk countries could fly directly to the island a part of its pilot "Phuket Sandbox" program.

That would be a welcome move because those on holiday want to be on the move and not be in quarantine. They need not worry about quarantine.

In August 2020, Thailand wanted to open its doors to foreign tourists for the winter holidays. CNN reports that incoming international tourists would be free to go around the island. If they want to go elsewhere, they will have to stay in Phuket for a minimum period of seven days. This could change depending on the status of the coronavirus.

Entry to Thailand for fully vaccinated tourists only

The reopening of Thailand to international tourists is conditional. CNN quotes the director of TAT saying - "For the initial stage, only fully vaccinated tourists are allowed in, except children under six." He added that young travelers who have yet to receive the vaccine could accompany their parents.

He clarified that countries qualifying in the "low-risk" category would reflect in the relevant website. The authorities have a massive vaccination drive on the cards. That would boost the prospects of Phuket to woo the foreign tourists who contribute to the local economy. In July 2018, Thailand was in the news when a group of children trapped in an underground cave was rescued after several days.

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Thailand needs tourists for survival

Tourism is the mainstay of countries like Thailand. Coronavirus has crippled this industry because of the contagious nature of the disease. Millions have died worldwide, and the medics advise people to avoid physical contact with unknown persons.

This isn't easy to achieve when travel is involved. The tourists want to enjoy the sights and sounds of a new place and carry back memories of their culture. That is not possible if one has to stay away from crowds and maintain social distancing. CNN adds the pandemic has resulted in deserted beaches. In normal times, these are packed with international travelers. Their absence has affected the majority of businesses in the region. The residents, who depend on the tourism industry, hope the tide to turn with the Phuket Sandbox plan. At present, all incoming travelers are required to quarantine for 14 days in an approved facility. The Phuket Sandbox plan bypasses that requirement. If it succeeds, the coverage will extend to more destinations.

Officials in Phuket are cautious. They have taken action to ensure that the outbreak does not spread to the island as it prepares to reopen to international visitors.

Tourists would love to return to Thailand

According to News 18, when coronavirus surfaced, Thailand took immediate measures to prevent its spread. They initiated positive actions as compared to other countries. One of its actions was to ban international travel since late March 2020. This was because the disease spread like wildfire, and the authorities enforced strict lockdowns and quarantine measures. The absence of international tourists harmed its economy, with hotels unoccupied and travel-related businesses gasping for breath. Thailand is now trying to reopen Phuket to international tourists from next month.