PHUKET, Thailand – July 1, 2021 : The first flight to land at Phuket International Airport today received a water salute as a warm welcome to international flights carrying tourists to Phuket, as the island officially opened for quarantine-free tourism in the Phuket Tourism Sandbox program today.
The tourists arrived from Abu Dhabi on the EY430 flight of Etihad Airways at 11.07am as Phuket started to welcome fully vaccinated foreigners who would not be quarantined according to the Phuket Sandbox reopening model. Their arrival revived the international terminal of Phuket airport that had been deserted for over a year since the pandemic had started. The foreign visitors had their documents checked and were tested for COVID-19 right away. Then they checked in at their hotel and waited for the result of their test which would be made known in 24 hours. If they test negative for the virus, they can visit attractions in Phuket right away. The procedures to welcome the visitors were smoothly implemented today. More flights will be arriving in Phuket. Officials expected more than 10,000 foreign tourists to visit the tourist island this month.