Governor Narong confirmed that the number of tourists arriving on the island has increased since the official Nov 1 reopening to fully vaccinated tourists from 63 countries from around 500-600 a day to over 1,000 per day, mainly due to the more relaxed conditions.
He added that the Test & Go approach has proved a success whereby a solitary test on the first day of arrival then allows people to travel freely throughout the country without further quarantine measures, assuming the test returns negative. The fact that costs associated with testing have decreased under this method from approximately B8,000 to B2,000 has also contributed to the success.
Governor Narong also stated he expects the number of tourists entering via the Phuket Sandbox model to decline as an incresing number of people enter via the Test & Go model.
It is clear for all to see that there has been an increase in the number of tourists across the island in the past eight days, he said, as attractions such as restaurants and beaches are witnessing more and more people and there is an evident increase in traffic on the roads.
However, despite the upturn in tourism and associated positivity, coupled with decreasing numbers of infection in Phuket, Governor Narong urged caution against any form of complacency as the virus is by no way over and rates of infections in other areas of the country are still high. To maintain precautionary measures, he confirmed that health care professionals are on alert and ample numbers of facilities such as beds at hospitals are available.
Governor Narong reiterated the fact that Phuket has been welcoming vaccinated tourists for the past three months after the official opening of the Sandbox model on July 1 and is therefore ahead of the rest of the country in that respect.
He was quick to stress, however, that the people of Phuket need to remain vigilant and strictly comply with all health and safety measures in place to prevent any spread of the disease and encouraged all to continue to adhere to best practice policies in this regard, particularly those operating in the service industry.