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Dreaming of the clear blue waters along Patong beach? Phuket is allowing vaccinated tourists from 66 countries from July 1 under their new tourism programme.

After months of preparation, one of Malaysians' favourite spots for a quick getaway, Phuket, is now welcoming vaccinated tourists after having its borders shut for over a year due to Covid-19.

Related: The Most Idyllic Luxury Holiday Resorts In Malaysia

This means that all you need is a negative Covid-19 test and proof that you have been fully vaccinated to roam Phuket freely and without having to serve a quarantine. 

Phuket is the first province in Thailand to introduce this programme as part of an experimental tourism model that the country is starting.

The island was chosen simply because it was one of the preferred destinations among overseas travellers besides Bangkok, Samui, Krabi, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai.

Before you start making plans to fly over, read on to find out everything you need to know.

See also: How Malaysia Is Ramping Up Covid-19 Vaccination Efforts

1. You will need to produce a negative Covid-19 test and be vaccinated

As eager as you are to fly to Phuket soon, you need to check certain boxes before you do. For one, you need to be fully vaccinated. 

Children below the ages of six and travelling with their parents are exempt from the vaccination requirement. You must then obtain a certificate of entry (COE) at the Thai embassy of the country you are from. There is an online system to do this. Finally, you will need to get a certificate showing that you have tested negative for Covid-19 within 72 hours before you fly to Thailand. 

Aside from these requirements, you will also need to get insurance coverage of no less than US$100,000 for healthcare and treatment expenses related to Covid-19 while you are staying in Thailand. 

Before you fly, make sure that you have a confirmation letter from your hotel that has been certified by the Thai government. If you are staying no more than 14 days, you will need to present proof that you have a confirmed flight out of the country. 

Once you arrive, you will need to take three Covid-19 tests. The first will be administered upon arrival, the second will be a week later and the last will happen towards the end of your second week there. These tests can be done at certified hotels or partner hospitals. 

After 14 days in Phuket, you will be allowed to travel to other parts of Thailand if you wish to do so.

Make sure that you also download Thailand's mobile applications ThailandPlus and MorChana, in order to assist the government in their contact tracing efforts during your stay.

Related: 6 Things To Do At InterContinental Phuket Resort For An Unforgettable Stay

2. This move is part of Phuket Sandbox

Phuket's reopening is under Phuket's tourism scheme, Phuket Sandbox. It is an experimental tourism initiative that the country is undertaking to counter the devastating effects Covid-19 has had on their tourism sector as well as their economy.

Phuket is a resort island that relies primarily on tourism for its economy so this scheme will hopefully keep the province going.

See also: The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi Provides The Ultimate Luxury Island Getaway

3. This is open to travellers from 66 counties and territories

According to Thailand's foreign ministry spokesperson, Tanee Sangrat, Thailand is currently welcoming travellers from 66 countries and territories to Phuket under their new tourism model.

These countries include Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, UK, USA and Vietnam, among others.

See also: 7 Unique Beaches That Will Make You Look Twice

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