Phuket set to ease entry curbs on Oct 1

Phuket set to ease entry curbs on Oct 1

Travellers wishing to go to Phuket soon will be able to enter the resort island via air, sea and land, after the province's communicable diseases committee agreed on Tuesday to lift entry restrictions on Oct 1.

The decision came as Phuket's authorities are keen to attract more visitors to the island, following the lacklustre performance of its so-called tourist sandbox programme.

According to governor Narong Woonciew, passengers arriving by air will be required to show proof that they have completed their Covid-19 vaccinations, or recovered from Covid-19 within six months of their date of arrival.

They must also show a negative coronavirus test result, using the RT-PCR or antigen test method, taken no more than seven days before arriving on the island, he said.

Those who arrive through the Tha Chatchai checkpoint or seaports will also be required to show a negative test result, using the RT-PCR or antigen test method, taken no more than seven days prior to arrival, he said.

All incoming travellers must download the Mor Chana application for contact tracing, the governor added.

Meanwhile, Surachai Chaiwat, honorary chairman of Phuket's Chamber of Commerce, said the Phuket sandbox programme saw around 300 tourist arriving each day, well below the target of 1,000 daily foreign arrivals.

From July 1 when the programme started to Sept 20, only 34,880 foreign tourists have visited Phuket.

"Phuket is in crisis, so the province must fully reopen," he said.

"We need at least 6,000 tourists, both local and foreign, to arrive each day if we are to break even," he added.

Thanes Tantipiriyakij, chairman of Phuket's Tourism Industry Council, said domestic travel is likely will pick up in the last quarter of the year, adding the segment is vital to Phuket's recovery.

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