Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Thursday that the Phuket Sandbox tourism reopening program is the model for other tourist destinations throughout the country.
From Thursday, Phuket started to waive mandatory quarantine for vaccinated foreign tourists. They can travel to the rest parts of Thailand after staying on the island for 14 nights under the Phuket Sandbox program.
Delivering a speech at a hotel in Phuket, the prime minister said that Phuket is a small island province, which can be easily put under control in the sustained pandemic situation and is viewed as the model for the planned reopening of other tourist destinations throughout the country.
The prime minister, who presided over the kick-off of the Phuket Sandbox campaign on the tourist island with the first group of foreign visitors from Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, has planned to reopen the whole country in the next 120 days.
According to the country's Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), 70 percent of the population in Phuket have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 56 percent have gotten their second shots.
Prayut encouraged local people to make the Phuket Sandbox success by reopening the businesses and make it a model for other regions in the country.
Other tourist destinations, which have reportedly planned to follow the Phuket Sandbox, include the capital Bangkok, Koh Samui island and Chiang Mai.