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

Jack Burton

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It’s official: Tourism to return to Phuket in October – VIDEO | Thaiger
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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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Avatar

    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?

    • Avatar

      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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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!

    • Avatar

      Steve

      Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at 3:34 am

      100% right

  5. Avatar

    Mauri

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    Good idea.!

    • Avatar

      Sami

      Monday, August 24, 2020 at 10:59 pm

      You must be out of your mind

  6. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    Gala

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    HI

    WE LIVE IN HONG KONG
    COULD WE FLY TO PHUKET AND SPEND OUR 2 WEEKS OF QUARANTINE IN OUR FLAT IN PHUKET BECOSE WE ARE OWNERS?

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR ANSWER OR ADVICES

  8. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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

    • Avatar

      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…

    • Avatar

      Trevor

      Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 2:06 am

      Dont be so fucking negative you piece of shit

    • Avatar

      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. Avatar

    Preesy Chepuce

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    Does that mean direct flights from October 1 then?

  12. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    William

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Bull****

    No one going to opt for this!!

  15. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    RS

    Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    IT’S OFFICIAL IS IT? AH, DONE & DUSTED AT LAST…
    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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.

Tourism

Phuket’s July Sandbox no-quarantine model “needs a major revamp”

Tim Newton

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Phuket’s July Sandbox no-quarantine model “needs a major revamp” | Thaiger
PHOTO: The monsoon waves are starting to hit Phuket's west coast

Thailand’s Sports and Tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn is acknowledging that Phuket’s ‘Sandbox’ model for a no-quarantine re-opening in July will need “a major revamp”. As the Songkran travel bubble bursts and the monsoon season waves start to roll onto the island’s west coast beaches, Phuket’s scheduled July re-boot suddenly seems a long way off.

Minister Phiphat says he plans to meet with “all related agencies” this week. Apart from the latest national re-surge in new infections, Phuket has been unable to get its hands on sufficient vaccines to meed its deadline of 70% of the island vaccinated by July 1. Thailand’s limited supplies of the vaccine – including some 930,000 doses designated for Phuket – are being rerouted to other provinces as the government prioritises the limited supply.

“We are all concerned about the reopening timeline,” he was quoted in Bangkok Post.

But the Minister did acknowledge that, if the 70% vaccination level couldn’t be met, they may consider opening some areas of the island. Exactly how that would work hasn’t been revealed at this stage.

The minister also brought up the ongoing travel bubble negotiations and says he hadn’t heard back from some of the candidates with their reaction to the current outbreak.

Flights in and out of Phuket Airport’s international terminal have been extremely patchy and the flights from feeder tourist markets will need to co-operate with any re-opening plans.

Phuket, whilst suffering a rise in new infections, hasn’t been hit as hard as some of the other popular holiday provinces, like Chiang Mai, Chon Buri (Pattaya) and Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin).

This year’s Songkran was going to be a major stepping stone for the island’s recovery and many hotels, some who had opened especially to cater for Songkran holiday traffic, noted a lot of cancellations just prior to the break.

But some island hotels have still reported high occupancy rates over the past week. One Manager, who did not want his name published, said that their hotel was almost full with Thai patrons, most who had pre-paid for their flights and accommodation and decided to go ahead anyway.

Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, the president of the Phuket Tourist Association, says that they are opposed to any lockdown as it would cripple the island, with its tourist businesses already suffering greatly. He stated that 15% of people cancelled their Songkran bookings, while 30% had postponed their trips.

The Sports and Tourism Ministers is still in quarantine after having close contact with Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, who was diagnosed with Covid-19 2 weeks ago.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing

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Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Kolour in the park was more pleasant in 2018 before Covid-19.

Health officials in Phuket put out a public statement this week compelling all foreigners who attended clubs and ‘Kolour’ events to report for Covid-19 testing. As many might expect, the response has been lacklustre at best. Spreading the message around the foreigner and expat community in Phuket, the message is aimed at the multitudes of people, mostly foreign who attended Kolour and related events that turned into a Covid-19 superspreader event. Many foreigners have not come forward, much to health officials chagrin.

Online and on social media, foreigners and Thais shed light on why this urgent public health request is going largely unheeded. Foreigners fear the repercussions of coming forward, especially since Thailand is not allowing staying home or elsewhere in isolation if someone tests positive for Covid-19. Quarantine is mandatory, and with infection numbers exploding across the country, many fear the less-than-posh comforts of being quarantined in an emergency field hospital.

Cost is the other factor that likely is preventing foreigners from turning themselves in to be tested for Covid-19. While Phuket health officials may test people for free, anyone found infected with Covid-19 will be financially responsible for all the costs of their treatment and quarantine. Foreigners with limited financial resources, especially after a year of holing up in Thailand to ride out the Coronavirus, may resist reporting to authorities when they cannot afford the mandatory quarantine and medical treatment.

Perhaps recognizing this hesitation, the message includes a plea for all attendees to self-quarantine and self-monitor for any symptoms over the next week, even if they fail to report or test negative. The note also reminds everyone to wear masks in public at all times. The statement to the public also instructed anyone who attended any of the Covid-19 spreading nightlife events to report to the Acute Respiratory Infection Clinic area of Vachira General Hospital to receive a Covid-19 swab test.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions

Tim Newton

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Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | Thaiger

Three of Thailand’s biggest expat areas are seeing sharp rises in new infections, partly from pre-Songkran traffic. The Songkran holidays, now officially over (but will see many people taking today off and making a weekend Songkran extension), and the government says they are expecting to see a rise in the cases numbers reported in the popular holiday locations.

Chon Buri Public Health office says they now have a total of 910 infections since April 1. They have 103 new cases in the past 24 hours. Most new cases are in Bang Lamung district which includes Pattaya City with 47, Siracha with 12) & Chon buri City with 8.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

Meanwhile Phuket has a total of 142 infections recorded on the island with the Governor still insisting there will be no need for a lockdown. Here’s a breakdown of the areas and the numbers of recorded infections so far (below).

Governor Narong announced that the Phuket Infectious Disease Control Committee won’t be implementing an official lockdown, but will “strictly raise the intensity of public health measures to counter the spread of Covid-19″.

“Everyone should wear a face mask, maintain social distancing, wash their hands frequently and install the Mor Chana app (available for free from App Store and Google Play Store).”

A meeting of the CCSA, chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to upgrade restrictions in red zone areas around the country, which includes Phuket and Pattaya. Read more about the latest red and orange zones HERE.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

For Hua Hin expats, there’s been 100 new Covid-19 infections announced in Prachuap Khiri Khan in the past 24 hours, 75 cases from Hua Hin. This takes the total in the province since April 1 to 625. Hua Hin accounts for nearly 90% of the district’s total cases.

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