Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O’Cha has arrived in Phuket this morning, July 1st, to inspect the island’s preparedness for welcoming the first group of vaccinated foreign tourists who were traveling under the Phuket Sandbox scheme today.
The Prime Minister and his delegation arrived at the Phuket International Airport around 8:40 AM. and began the inspection of health screening procedures at the airport, ensuring that all arrivals were to be permitted to enter Phuket according to the requirements.
The pilot flight of Ethihad Airlines (EY430), carrying 25 passengers from Abu Dhabi, safely arrived on the island as of 11:07 AM. All of the arrivals must go through the “7 Steps 7 Countdowns” at the Phuket International Airport to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
A total of four direct flights from four international airlines, namely Ethihad Airlines, Qatar Airways, EL AL Israel Airlines, and Singapore Airlines, are scheduled to arrive on the island throughout the day. According to the authorities, about 300-400 arrivals were foreign nationals traveling from Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Singapore.
Upon arrival, the Prime Minister paid a visit to the Phuket Land Checkpoint in Tha Chatchai, where he was also given information regarding the operation of the checkpoint, including the screening of every vehicle and passenger to detect the Covid-19 Coronavirus, before visiting the opening ceremony of “Hug Thai Hug Phuket” economic stimulus campaign at the Central Phuket shopping mall in the afternoon.
Prayut later presided over the Phuket Sandbox follow-up meeting at the Royal Phuket City Hotel, along with Phuket authorities and local private sectors. During the conference, he stated that the government was confident that the island reopening scheme would potentially attract more foreign tourists to visit the island from today onwards.
He also stressed that the Phuket Sandbox is the pilot model before reopening in other tourist destinations in order to revive the tourist business and domestic economy in Thailand.
The Prime Minister stated: “The Phuket Sandbox wasn’t just about people in Phuket, but also about Thai people in all provinces. The pilot project was officially launched to observe the suitability, procedures, as well as effectiveness of the measures in order for Thailand to proceed with the country’s reopening within 120 days as planned.”
“If any areas or provinces were ready to welcome tourists, they were able to proceed under a similar procedure to stimulate the economy. I want the Phuket Sandbox to be successful.”
“Foreigners in many countries have great intentions to visit Phuket and even some international airlines which had never flown to Phuket also provided the direct flights to the island for the first time today. It significantly proved that foreigners were confident in the measures we have implemented.” The PM concluded.
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