Thailand to postpone Phuket reopening to vaccinated travellers if herd immunity not achieved

By TIN Media | Asean News Published 2 weeks ago on 20 April 2021
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If herd immunity is not achieved before that deadline, Thailand may need to postpone Phuket reopening and quarantine-free travel to vaccinated travellers stated on 1 July.

“We are concerned about the reopening timeline. We still need to discuss the vaccine administration plan. If the herd immunity goal cannot be achieved, we may have to consider opening only certain areas in Phuket," said Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn in a statement.

The Thai government is at the centre of whether to push or again delay Phuket's 'sandbox' pilot programme.

The double whammy was hit in Thailand. Over 1,500 cases of coronavirus are reported in the Kingdom. The most recent wave caused concerns that officials would reassess their plans, despite its success in containing local transmissions and fighting two wave raids in 2020.

Although 70% of the Phuket population, and especially the tourism sector, were originally planned to vaccinate by June, the rate of vaccination will continue to be slowed down by increasing cases.

Phuket's reopening has successfully vaccinated most people in the island, and the economy in Thailand will depend on whether the pilot programme, for other provinces, is implemented smoothly.

Thailand is not alone in this dilemma. Supplies of vaccines remain limited, while global cases continue to rise and many countries fight the third wave of infection.


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