This week Thailand’s cabinet has approved plans to reopen the country to foreign tourists, but in a gradual way. The current plan is as follows:
Phuket will be the first Thai destination to open to vaccinated tourists
As you can see, Thailand plans to make Phuket the first place to open to vaccinated travelers. Why is this popular destination being singled out? The Thai government is focusing vaccination efforts on Phuket, with the hope to vaccinate 70% of Phuket’s population before July.
Phuket’s governor has this week stated that he hopes to vaccinate as many as 50,000 people with the first dose within seven days of vaccines arriving on the island.
Thailand is prioritizing vaccinations in Phuket
I have a couple of conflicting thoughts on Thailand’s plan to reopen to tourists.
On the other hand, I can’t help but scratch my head a bit here. All the data I’ve seen suggests that asymptomatic spread among the fully vaccinated is extremely rare. Admittedly we’re learning as we go and this is based on studies over a fairly short period, but that’s still the current thinking, best I can tell.
With that in mind, this plan seems super restrictive to me:
Obviously there’s always some risk to this kind of stuff, but Thailand is also heavily reliant on tourism, and that has a huge impact on peoples’ lives and wellbeing. It’s one thing if Thailand wouldn’t settle for anything but zero cases, but that’s not quite the case in Thailand.
Of course I respect Thailand’s decision here, but personally I have no interest in planning a trip to Thailand until the country is more or less fully open to vaccinated tourists. This plan is simply too restrictive, not to mention it’s presumably subject to change, so it’s just not worth the gamble given how often plans change.
This plan is too restrictive for me to consider a visit to Thailand
Thailand’s government has approved a reopening plan. With this, as of July 1, vaccinated travelers will be allowed to visit Phuket quarantine-free, and as of October 1, vaccinated travelers will be allowed in select other destinations as well. However, the country doesn’t plan to open on a more widespread basis until 2022.