BANGKOK, June 16 (TNA) – The dean of the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, has warned that it is too early to reopen the country because visitors can bring COVID-19 variants.
Dr Prasit Watanapa, the dean, said in response to the “Phuket Sandbox” project in which Phuket will reopen and welcome tourists on July 1. He said COVID-19 vaccinations covered less than 10% of the national population.
He personally thought that it was too early for the Phuket Sandbox project to start on July 1 and 14-day quarantine remained necessary for visitors. An outbreak of a COVID-19 variant could arrive with visitors. Vaccines did not cover all variants and it was dangerous to think that it was fine to drop guard after everyone had been vaccinated. Another outbreak in Phuket would worsen its economy, Dr Prasit said.
Under the Phuket Sandbox project set to begin on July 1, visitors are required to have received full doses of COVID-19 vaccines, show vaccination certificates and be already tested for the virus within 72 hours before their arrival in Thailand. After arrival, they must undergo three more tests within 14 days.
If they want to travel to other provinces, they must be quarantined in Phuket for 14 days first. (TNA)