Published on Sunday, September 6, 2020

Phuket reopening may be delayed

Thailand's planned tourism reopening in Phuket has hit a roadblock.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand said the launch of the 'Phuket model' slated for next month is likely to be pushed back.

It comes as Thailand saw the first case of local Covid-19 transmission in more than 100 days.

The Tourism Ministry had approved a tentative plan to allow up to 200 travellers from Australia and New Zealand to visit.

It involves a mandatory 14 day quarantine at designated hotels in Phuket after testing negative for the virus before arrival.

Thailand has remained closed to foreign tourists since March.

"The government is doing everything it can to provide help and to make the situation as safe as possible so pilot schemes like the one proposed in Phuket can begin and help the tourism get back to where it was," Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said at a meeting in Phuket.

However the government will continue to prioritise health over tourism.

Written by Ray Montgomery, Asia Pacific editor

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