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Four of Thailand's major tourism destinations are to be prioritized in the distribution of vaccines, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration says. They are Phuket, Chon Buri, Surat Thani, and Chiang Mai. Besides that, in the rollout of the first vaccine doses arriving in the Kingdom today, a further 9 provinces with significant infection numbers are prioritized.
The CCSA's Taweesin Visanuyothin says 70,000 doses will go to Samut Sakhon's hard-hit "highest control" area, where Thailand's second outbreak began late last year. In the central province, 8,000 doses are set aside for medical officials, along with 6,000 for frontline health workers, 46,000 for seriously ill patients, and 10,000 for migrant workers and residents.
In Bangkok, in the central provinces of Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Songkram, and Samut Prakan, and the western province of Ratchaburi and the Mae Sot district of Tak, another 105,000 doses will be distributed to similar groups.
The Pattaya News reports that 14,700 doses will be sent to four major tourist destinations, with 4,700 to Chon Buri's eastern province, 4,000 to Phuket's southern island, 3,500 to Chiang Mai's northern province, and 2,500 to Samui Island in Surat Thani's southern province.
It is not yet known which groups will be vaccinated first in the case of vaccines going to tourism spots, with that decision being left to the Provincial Communicable Disease Committee and other related authorities.
In the meanwhile, the CCSA says that other plans are being considered for the 4 tourist destinations, including the possibility of 'area quarantine,' which would allow vaccinated foreign arrivals to remain within certain boundaries during their quarantine period. Thailand's Tourism Authority has been pushing for a vaccine passport policy for vaccinated visitors, while PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says the government may consider lifting vaccinated tourists' quarantine restrictions.