Thailand finalizing plans to allow 9-month stay in Phuket for tourists

August 31, 2020

Thailand's Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said Saturday that his ministry is in talks with related sectors of the government in rolling out grants for foreign tourists to stay in Thai resort island of Phuket for up to a length of nine months.

"Many government units including Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-cha, have agreed to this idea in principle," said the minister. "This 9-month period would include the mandatory 14 day quarantine and frequent COVID-19 tests in Phuket."

Thailand's state and private sectors have been drumming up calls to open the Thai skies as quickly as possible to save the country's ailing tourism industry.

Prayut earlier also said that by opening up Thailand to selected healthy tourists, will then the country survive the challenging times triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Thailand's two main sources of income are derived from tourism and export.

On Saturday, Phiphat said that after three weeks in Phuket, foreign tourists with negative test results would be free to travel to other regions of the country.

"The initial visa would be for 90 days and could be extended twice more for a total of 270 days," said Phiphat.

Thailand until Saturday, has already surpassed three months free of local COVID-19 transmission.