Pandemic tourism: Thailand launches Phuket 'sandbox' plan

Posted at 5:06 AM, Jul 01, 2021

Thailand has opened the popular resort island of Phuket to fully vaccinated foreigners from lower-risk countries in an ambitious but risky plan that it hopes will breathe new life into a tourism industry devastated by the pandemic.

The so-called Phuket sandbox program comes as coronavirus numbers are surging in Thailand, and many question if it’s too early to woo tourists back, and whether they’ll come in any case.

Authorities caution that if cases start to rise on the island more restrictions may be needed, or it may have to be shut down entirely.

Fewer than 250 international travelers are expected on the first day compared to the initial target of 1,500.