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It’s official: Tourism to return to Phuket in October – VIDEO



PHOTO: TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn - Destination Thailand News

In a surprise move, the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand told Reuters that tourists seeking long-stay holidays in the southern resort island of Phuket will be allowed into the province from October 1. The news comes with restrictions: tourists will be limited to staying in the alternative quarantine system but within a 1 kilometre radius of their hotel, giving them access to the seashore in many instances. The “safe and sealed” scheme to allow limited tourism has already been discussed, but an announcement wasn’t expected until September. Earlier proposals had put the date in November.

During mandatory 14 day quarantine, each tourist will be required to pass two Covid-19 tests. After the 14 days,tourists will be free to travel within Phuket. After a further week and another test, they’ll be allowed to travel throughout the kingdom.

The news effectively means that Phuket will be, for a period, the gateway through which the hundreds of thousands of foreigners stranded outside Thailand since the end of March can gain access. These include foreigners who haven’t been able or eligible, up to now, to obtain certificates of entry from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok since entry requirements were widened in May, June and July.

The proposal was pushed hard this week by beleaguered Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, as officials from the Centre for Covid 19 Situation Administration were seen visiting Phuket. It’s understood that he received the support of new the economic czar, Minister of Energy and former PTT boss Supattanapong Punmeechaow.

Phiphat has in the last few months seen several proposals rejected by the health-minded CCSA.

The development is likely to drive a wave of tourism to Phuket from October, leading to what many foreigners are hoping for: safe and reasonable access to the country that many see as a home from home. Phuket could well become a boom town in October.

SOURCE: Thai Residents


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  1. Gary

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 11:11 am

    Ok, but how to get there, too late for airlines to crank up many flights, which hotels are ASQ? As a retiree can I just go home and stay within 1 km of my isolated condo?

    • Max

      Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at 3:46 am

      After living in Thailand for 15 years I got stuck out the country now for 6 months ,
      Just realised that I don’t miss it much .
      I just can’t wait to go back to empty my bank account and not returning.
      I’m done with the place .

      The good old days are finished .

  2. Perceville Smithers

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 11:11 am

    Will need more details:
    – Is this a required Thai Airways flight + hotel package?
    – Are there addtl charges for the testing or is it part of the package?
    – Will there be curfews?

    I won’t spend money if I’ll be restricted/confined but I need to know what I’m getting into so there won’t be any surprises.

  3. Richard Barker

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Would love to try it but Aussie Government won’t let us out of Australia. Good luck

  4. Ts

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 11:31 am

    Oh! the queues to come quarantine on scam island will be tremendous. As always TAT- Brilliant!

  5. Mauri

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    Good idea.!

    • Sami

      Monday, August 24, 2020 at 10:59 pm

      You must be out of your mind

  6. Remo

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    But we are allowed to stay in Thailand for up to 30 days only , so we will have to do a visa run , reenter Thailand and start the whole procedure again.

  7. Gala

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 3:25 pm




  8. Dirk

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    That won’t change anything. I am not traveling in with a 3 month visa, I am wasting the first two weeks in an overpriced hotel, just so that I have to go again 10 weeks later because the practice of extending the visa is the same, either lawyer and smear or visa run, and thus again quarantine?

  9. gary

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Singapore has just announced none or just 6 days for certain countries, I hope Thai officials are taking note, Sentosa and other attractions could be busy soon.

  10. shey

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    14 days stuck at a phuket hotel for quarantine. 7 more days stuck in phuket. 4 covid test. One when you leave your country, one on arrival, one on day 14, one on day 20-21 just to travel freely.

    The longer you stay in phuket the more likely people will test positive so they will lock that island down and your 21 days will turn into a longer stay there with more testing.

    I will have to pass. This will all cost too much time and money. You can’t have both

    • bob

      Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 12:36 am

      Yes, the threat of a lockdown of Phuket is very real – Following the logic, imagine we have someone positive during the 7 day phase when they’re free to wander around Phuket, they will close off the entire island down again.
      Or it might mean that Phuket inhabitants will also need to be tested to be allowed to leave the island, since they can have been in contact with positive tourists in their “7 day free to wander around Phuket” phase…

    • Trevor

      Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 2:06 am

      Dont be so fucking negative you piece of shit

    • Peter James

      Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 10:00 am

      Totally agree.
      There will not be many people taking up this offer
      Let’s wait to see

  11. Preesy Chepuce

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    Does that mean direct flights from October 1 then?

  12. Andries Houtman

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    i am so desperate, miss my girlfriend so much.
    We were going to get married, but I flew back to the Netherlands to arrange the papers.
    And for my diabetes.
    Now I can’t go to her anymore.
    She is Khmer and works in Ko Chang Thailand.
    My heart is torn.??

  13. Whowho

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    The whole Thai visa system is ridiculous. To get a temporary residence in Mexico for 1,2,3 years you only need $32.5 in savings. Right now in Thailand you cannot get anything like that and we have to leave as our visa expires – which means that Thailand will lose quite a bit of income.

  14. William

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 7:52 pm


    No one going to opt for this!!

  15. Kurt Blattler

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    this is ridiculous…. and a wicked idea! Are you really hoping overseas tourists will accept such an “offer”. Nobody seeks to stay 14 days in Quarantine (prison-like) Hotel…. The coming season will be 100% write OFF if you don’t change the travel rules NOW !!! Weak up Thailand and come up with reasonable and ATTRACTIVE conditions. Instead of hiding behind your borders you could take the actual situation as a chance …. Slogan could be “We are Covid19 free- come in and enjoy great holidays in Thailand”

  16. Sami

    Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Can anyone please drive sense into their minds???? They keep on coming up with the daftest options and it would require a dafter tourist to accept these rules and go to Phuket. There is every likelihood of another set of new rules springing up while you are there and that’s it! Stay in Phuket for months…

  17. Jon

    Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    The CCSA has not approved this plan. It is not, therefore, official. They are meeting on August 28th with these other agencies.

  18. Alex

    Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    Corona scheme! That’s all it is! What a joke! Remember the 1918 H1N1 flu pandemic, Spanish flu. 2009 H1N1 pandemic, Swine Flu. 2019, Covid-19 which behaves in some ways like influenza. To be more accurate, it’s a highly contagious viral pneumonia. In mild cases it results in few if any symptoms, such as cough and mild fever. In severe cases, it results in life threatening pneumonia that can be fatal, particularly in the elderly, immune compromised and individuals with severe underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and so on. Oh wait, just like the flu! seasonal influenza (not H1N1) has the worst effect on seniors; only 19 percent of seasonal influenza deaths occur in people age 65 and younger. 250,000 to 500,000 people die of seasonal flu.

    Compare the fatality rate from 1918 and 2009 and compare that to 2019. Don’t forget, 250,000 to 500,000 people die of seasonal flu each year.

    Get it!

    Covid-19, what a joke! Wake up already will you!

  19. Patrick Nouvel

    Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    Its a positive move, need to know the conditions details deeper for that quarantine, thousands stranded in other countries will may be able to come back to their families & homes.

  20. RS

    Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    well then, the high spending tourists (the TAT target group) who have been desperate to get back to the world’s prime holiday destination and all it’s charms (after they complete their 2 wk jail sentence of course) must be forming massive queues to apply for this chance of a lifetime ??

  21. Lough

    Monday, August 24, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    I understand the criticisms from people about the quarantine etc.. but if I can go there and stay in Thailand for 60 days (or even more) YES! Count me IN! It’s not for everyone but it works for me. Bring on the sunset Sing5555555….

  22. bobby m

    Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 5:05 am

    No thanks – rip off central.

    You are holding desperate people (those with money invested, retirement property and loved ones they are desperate to see) to ransom and they still won’t achieve their goals, because you will end up locking the island down to prevent it. Totally deplorable behaviour.

    When it comes to holidays, I think you have forgotten that those choosing to visit the kingdom are in fact customers and need to be treated as such and not as leper’s.

  23. john e

    Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 8:57 am

    No mention of this in the article but currently during quarantine booze is not allowed so maybe the TAT should sell it as a detox scheme.

  24. David Sanders

    Friday, August 28, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    It sounds like most comments are against it but it works great for me! My Thai family and residence is in Phuket, and two weeks in an ASQ sounds great after waiting 7 months to get back!

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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