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Thailand’s Prime Minister Greets Vaccinated Tourists Arriving in Phuket

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tourists, Phuket, Thailand, Sandbox

Thailand’s Prime Minister visited Phuket International Airport to welcome a group of 51 vaccinated tourists from Singapore under the Sandbox reopening. Prayut Chan-o-cha has told the public that Thailand needs to accept the risk of reopening the country

Thailand is placing high hopes on a much-needed tourism revival via the sandbox, a model that allows vaccinated foreign travellers to visit without quarantine.

Prime Minister Prayut was confident the country’s tourism will be resuscitated if all parties involved succeed in pushing ahead with the scheme.

According to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), if more than 15 new infections are detected per 100,000 people in Phuket in one week, the sandbox may be delayed or even cancelled.

The prime minister, together with cabinet ministers and senior health officials, arrived on the resort island to meet officials and health volunteers. He also welcomed a group of 51 vaccinated tourists from Singapore.

“Hello, welcome to Thailand,” Prime Minister Prayut greeted the incoming tourists who were unaware beforehand they would be welcomed by him. A total of 347 passengers on flights from Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Singapore landed in Phuket on Thursday.

Phuket Tourists must wait for covid-19 test results

Etihad Airway’s EY430 flight on the Abu Dhabi-Phuket-Suvarnabhumi route arrived at 10.20am with 44 passengers. Twenty-three disembarked in Phuket while the rest went on to Suvarnabhumi.

The first group of travellers then underwent screening, which included fever and vaccination checks. All were required to download the Thailand Plus and Mor Chana apps.

They later went through immigration and customs procedures before having swab samples taken for covid-19 RT-PCR testing.

They were subsequently taken to their hotels where they were to wait 24 hours for the test results. If the results are negative, they will be able to go to other parts of the island. If they are positive, they will be immediately taken to hospitals.

The other three flights to Phuket on Thursday were from Qatar with 136 passengers landing at 12.43pm, from Israel with 137 passengers at 1.52pm and from Singapore with 51 passengers at 5.14pm.

Starting on Thursday, Phuket waived quarantine requirements for foreign tourists who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 under the sandbox model, which is being touted as a model for the reopening of the country’s tourism industry.

However, as a precaution, tourists will have to remain on the island for 14 days before they are allowed to travel to other destinations in the country.

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