Thailand greenlights quarantine-free travel model for Phuket

Thai authorities on Tuesday (Jun 22) greenlighted a pilot model for quarantine-free travel to ultra-popular beach destination Phuket, a first step towards the tourist-hungry kingdom’s goal of resuscitating its pandemic-battered economy.

Thailand has imposed strict restrictions on visitor arrivals in order to stem COVID-19 infections, but discouraging visitors has led to its economy recording its worst performance since the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

The hugely important tourism industry has been on tenterhooks since March, when the government floated the so-called “Phuket Sandbox” scheme, which would have allowed vaccinated tourists to enter the country without undergoing the usual two weeks of quarantine.

But after a third wave of COVID-19 infections engulfed the country in April, the scheme appeared to be on the back burner, thanks to muddy messaging from authorities.

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