When can we travel to Thailand? Good news for Phuket tourists

UK government 'playing hokey cokey with travel' says Strutton

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Travel rules have barely changed for the UK over the last year, thanks to oscillating Covid rates. The latest changes have allowed people to travel abroad, but only to countries with lower infection rates. The potential for migration between the UK’s three categories has encouraged some countries to push for lower Covid rates.

When can we travel to Thailand?

Despite being one of many Brits’ favoured destinations in Southeast Asia, Thailand is not currently on the Covid green list.

Only one country in the region – Singapore – sits on the 11-strong green list.

Thailand is in the most populous amber group – a limbo where travel is not illegal but also not advised.

As such, people can’t travel to any of the country’s popular holiday destinations without needing to quarantine on their return.

Phuket island, a lively region on the left flank of the Malay Peninsula, would traditionally host millions of foreigners for weddings or holidays at this time of year.

Phuket’s roughly 10 million tourists per year make up 95 percent of its local income.

Without them, the economy has struggled, according to infectious disease nurse Bang-orn Rungruang, who told The Guardian it “collapsed” under the weight of Covid border restrictions.

Officials hope to reclaim activity and fill its “ghost town” with people by boosting its vaccine programme.

They hope to reopen again from July 1, but they have to vaccinate up to 70 percent of the island’s approximately half a million-strong population.

Phuket authorities have not disclosed whether they will need one or both Covid doses, however.

At present, approximately 60 percent of Phuket residents have had one dose.

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If they can reach this target, the “Phuket Sandbox” will come into effect, allowing tourists to enter.

Tourists can travel to the island and stay at certified venues, but only if they have had both jabs.

Certified hotels will have covered at least 70 percent of their staff with a Covid jab.

But any further travel within the region will require them to abide by the two-week quarantine rule.

According to reports, people may also have to wear GPS tracking on their trip.

Authorities could ask people to download a tracking app or don a GPS wristband during their stay.

They have already experimented with GPS wristbands on cruise-bound tourists entering Phuket in March this year.

Visitors will also have to abide by strict mask-wearing rules outdoors and won’t be able to drink amid national restaurant sales bans.

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