Thailand is planning to reopen the popular tourist destination of Phuket for vaccinated foreigners starting July 1, in the first major reopening since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Bloomberg news report on Friday.
The decision to reopen Phuket, one of Thailand's party destinations, came following the approval of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha based on a proposal submitted by Phuket's private sector and business groups. Part of the proposal includes vaccinating at least 70% of the island's inhabitants prior to receiving tourists.
A preliminary examination of the results of vaccination on Phuket is also expected to serve as a model for other popular tourist destinations in Thailand, such as Koh Samui, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and consequential loss of tourist revenue due to travel restrictions.
The reopening of Phuket will take place before the rest of the country, which will only allow tourists into Thailand by October. Some 930,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine are expected to be administered prior to reopening the island.
“There are people who are fully vaccinated and ready to travel. But they would only choose destinations that have vaccinated its residents and don’t require quarantine,” said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand,
Thailand is a highly popular destination for tourists from Israel, many of whom are youth who have recently completed their military service.