Bangkok, Mar 26 (efe-epa).- Foreigners inoculated against the coronavirus can holiday on the resort island of Phuket from July 1 without quarantine requirements, Thai authorities said Friday.
Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, told reporters that the popular beach destination would be used as an experiment for the quarantine-free model before the country was fully reopened for foreign tourists.
Foreign travelers to Thailand currently need to be quarantined for 14 days at a guarded hotel immediately after they arrive in the country.
The tough coronavirus restrictions have discouraged tourists from visiting the country, popular for its beach resorts.
Thailand, one of the main tourist destinations in Southeast Asia that has kept its borders practically closed to tourists since March last year, received 6.6 million tourists until July, compared to more than 23 million who arrived in the same period of 2019.
Last week, health authorities announced a progressive easing of quarantines to offset losses in the tourism sector, which accounts for between 12 to 20 percent of the national economy.
These measures included reducing quarantine days for foreigners from 14 days to seven from April.
There will be no quarantine from Oct.1.
Those who are not vaccinated will have to be quarantined for 10 days from April after they show Covid-19 negative test report.
Thailand began its vaccination drive last month with Chinese Sinovac and plans to inoculate some 30 million people this summer.
But it relies more on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine of which it has received some 117,000 doses.
The country expects to produce another 61 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from June in a local laboratory owned by the Thai king’s business holdings.
Thailand was the first country outside China to detect a Covid-19 infection in January 2020 when the world was oblivious to the ensuing global pandemic.
It has since managed to weather the storm considerably better than much of the international community.
The country has so far registered about 28,500 coronavirus infections and 92 deaths. EFE