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Businesses in Phuket -- like this resort -- and Bali are devoid of foreign tourists, who were once the lifeblood of the local economy.   © Reuters
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Last resorts? Phuket and Bali chase dream of COVID-free tourism

Plans for ring-fenced 'sandboxes' and 'green zones' to revive economies

MASAYUKI YUDA and SHOTARO TANI, Nikkei staff writers | Thailand

BANGKOK/JAKARTA -- Clear skies, emerald blue seas and white sandy beaches. Phuket's allure is obvious, as millions of foreign tourists have discovered. But today, the future of this Thai island in the Andaman Sea and the lives of its people are being shaped by the unseen but deadly coronavirus.

Saranya Injan manages Chean Vanich pier located in a small cove on the east coast of Phuket. The tourist boats and ferries that once churned almost ceaselessly through here now lie moored and quietly rocked by the tide.

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