PHUKET: Foreign visitors will be allowed entry to Phuket without quarantine from July 1, with nearly a million doses of Covid-19 vaccine ready for local residents before then, under a plan approved by provincial authorities.
Deputy governor Pichet Panapong said the infectious diseases committee approved the proposal on Wednesday.
"Phuket has been without any new Covid-19 cases for 89 days... There is in urgent need for foreign tourists here, to stimulate the economy and tourism sector," he said.
"Before, a local resident earned about 40,000 baht per month on average. In February this fell to about 8,000 baht. Without some change, this will fall to 1,964 baht in July, which is below the poverty line."
Mr Pichet said Phuket had 120,000 rooms in about 600 hotels. A survey concluded that foreigners do want to visit Phuket, if it reopens without quarantine.
He said Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow had earlier instructed Phuket to reopen to foreign visitors on July 1.
Phuket health authorities planned to acquire 930,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine before July 1, for the local population, and foreign visitors' movements would be tracked by phone app, Mr Pichet said.