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Phuket may open to international tourists on October 1 – with conditions attached

Maya Taylor

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Phuket may open to international tourists on October 1 – with conditions attached | Thaiger
PHOTO: William Rouse on Unsplash

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, agrees in principle that international tourists can return to Phuket from October 1. However, in what will come as no surprise, there are conditions attached. Under the Safe and Sealed plan, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn proposes opening a total of 6 regions to international tourists, who will need to undergo a 14 day quarantine period in dedicated areas.

“There is no need to come with a tour group. Individual travellers can visit some provinces, but they have to abide by strict screening rules, as were other groups that were previously allowed. Different hotels that share the same beach within a one-kilometre radius can group together as a sealed zone. This plan will allow tourists beach activities.”

Once they’ve completed their 14 day quarantine period, international visitors will be free to travel around Phuket. However, if they want to travel beyond the province, that will involve another 7 days’ quarantine. A report in the Bangkok Post says all hotel staff will need to stay within the sealed zones. If they do need to travel outside their area, they will need to be tested for Covid-19 and also undergo 14 days’ quarantine.

Phiphat says that while tourists’ movement by air and land is easier to control, he is concerned about sea transport, pointing out that some may use this to violate quarantine requirements. On September 5 and 6, the Transport Minister, along with representatives from the Tourism and Sports, Public Health and Interior ministries, will visit Phuket to examine transport links between the provinces of Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga, with a view to closing potential loopholes.

It’s understood public hearings for other provinces are in the pipeline.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Avatar

    simon

    Friday, August 21, 2020 at 10:30 am

    All you need to do now is find a hotel that’s open and one you can afford that isn’t fleecing tourists, find a flight and one you can afford, save up the money, get the time off work (if you have a job) get travel insurance and find somewhere in one of the zones that has some life, other people and restaurants and bars that are open (and not fleecing tourists)

    Simple

  2. Avatar

    OneoftheAliens

    Friday, August 21, 2020 at 11:36 am

    Makes life very easy travelling back to thailand. Very very easy

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, August 21, 2020 at 11:48 am

    Oh I can hardly wait!
    To see what a disastrous flop this latest great deal offered to foreigners is.
    The Thais just do not get it.
    The deal is ridiculously bad and nobody will go for it. Thailand is not that good . ..

    • Avatar

      Karen Hardman

      Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 5:28 pm

      Thailand is VERY, very good and WAY ahead of the uk in terms of medical care, which is excellent and Covid 19 deaths !!! Only 58, compared to the uk`s ridiculously high number of almost 50,000 !! lf l wanted an ultrasound in the uk, l would first have to make a GP appt, waiting 20 plus minutes on the phone to get through, then days or weeks for the appt, then another couple of months– at least– for the appt, then another couple of weeks to get the results !!!!
      Whereas in Thailand, l see a consultant immediately, have a chat with them, get sent off for the ultrasound and then a couple of hours later get the results, and this is on the SAME DAY !! There is NO comparison between Thailand`s health system and the uk`s, which really is not that great at all !!!

  4. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Friday, August 21, 2020 at 11:59 am

    In another article a few days ago, there was talk about tourists wearing a wristband for tracking. Wonder if that was scrapped or will be sprung upon the vistor when he gets there.

    A 14-day quarantine then another 7-day if I want to visit another province? Don’t think so.

  5. Avatar

    Roger Ward

    Friday, August 21, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    Most europeans get 1month holiday a year so we have a day to get to Thailand 14days stuck in a hotel at 50,000baht+ for 2wks,3000baht to be tested on entry,then we cant travel to another province ie Issan without another 7days,do you really think we are that stupid to want this so called deal.

    • Avatar

      Perceville Smithers

      Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 4:48 am

      Late last year and earlier this year, talking to two different Brits at 2 different bars in Bangkok, both said they felt Thai gov was slowly pushing them out and welcoming another group of touris.

    • Avatar

      Karen Hardman

      Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 5:47 pm

      Best to go next year then, when hopefully this will all be over ! But Thailand is VERY careful about who comes into their country and regulations there are very strictly enforced, which is one of the reasons why they only have 58 deaths from covid compared to the uk`s almost 50,000 !

  6. Avatar

    Luke

    Friday, August 21, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Hey and errrrror 8-)))

  7. Avatar

    Ray W.

    Friday, August 21, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    What clown shoes buffoonery this continues to be. Open the damn boarder, accept there is risk that should be left to the individual and the business, and get on with life. We are losing more lives to poverty, crime, depressions, and drugs then we ever would have from COVID. Just look at the global mortality statistics in the last 60 day, not February and March, the last 60 days. We are being insanely draconian and oppressive, unless the goal was to max out the misery index… then I guess a ‘great job is in order.

  8. Avatar

    Chris Stark

    Friday, August 21, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    The government seems to be under delusion that Thailand is doing tourists a favour to imprison them for 14 days at their own expense and confine them to a narrow stretch of beach.Its laughable.

  9. Avatar

    Thomas

    Friday, August 21, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    Why come to Thailand, if all my 30 days on visa exempt are used up during quarantine? Do they actually know their own visa regulation?

    • Avatar

      Sami

      Monday, August 24, 2020 at 12:10 am

      Very true..and sorry… neither do they know their own visa regulations nor do they have any sense in whatever they do..thats the Thai government…

  10. Avatar

    Remo

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 12:38 am

    But we can only stay in Thailand for 30 days.
    So, in the first 14 days we will have to hang around in the hotel, then in the next 7 days we can go around Phuket, and for the very last week we can go to stay with our GF/wife/children in BKK.
    Then we will have to do a visa run to a nearby country , and restart the whole procedure from the beginning.
    Unless we pay half a million Baht for the Elite visa.
    Brilliant!

  11. Avatar

    Peter

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 2:52 am

    Guess how many seconds after someone arrives in one of these “zones” they will be offered a boat ride to some other coastal town, and the spreading begins.

    Desperate operators will do whatever it takes to make up for lost income. Will be a clown show no matter what scheme they try come up with.

    The Thai authorities would be better off spending their time and money on economic diversification strategies.

  12. Avatar

    John

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Can those on retirement visas take advantage of this as a way to visit their home country and return to Thailand. Currently there is no way to do this. Spending 2 weeks in a hotel on return not that bad.

  13. Avatar

    ray

    Saturday, August 22, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Does this mean Phuket inhabitants will all be subject to 7 days of quarantine to leave the island (having potentially been in contact with tourists who have completed their 14 days and free to roam around Phuket?)

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Chiang Mai

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

Tim Newton

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Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | Thaiger

The TAT, ever the optimists regarding anything tourism related, even domestic tourism, predict that the Bangkok clusters that have emerged in the week before the Songkran break could reduce traffic and spending by up to half.

Today the CCSA is reporting 789 new infections and one additional death. 522 were local infections, mostly walk-ins to Bangkok hospitals, 259 were discovered through track and tracing. The remaining 8 were found in quarantine from overseas arrivals. In Phuket, another 17 cases have been reported today, taking the island’s week total to 43.

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | News by ThaigerGRAPH: Worldometer figures for Thailand, up to April 9

A 68 year old man from Nakhon Pathom province died on April 4 but wasn’t reported until today. The CCSA report that he died from Covid and “complications”. 33 other former patients have recovered and been discharged.

Last week the TAT estimated 3.2 million domestic trips would circulate 12 billion baht for the Thai economy. But the Tourism Authority has now slashed their estimates by half after hotels, airlines and bus companies reported mass cancellations in the last few days. Other provinces are reporting less than 20% cancellations. Although this weekend will see a lot of travel, Songkran doesn’t formally start until next Tuesday and the TAT expect there could be additional fallout as travellers decide to have a staycation for Songkran instead heading home.

Bangkok Post reports that 70% of travellers to Prachuap Khiri Khan and Hua Hin have already cancelled hotel bookings. Similar cancellations have been reported in Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Many other provinces, particularly in the north east and north, are also enforcing quarantine on arrivals or additional paperwork to try and protect their provinces from any of the Bangkok clusters.

8 north eastern provinces rare now requiring 10 or 14 day quarantine periods for anyone arriving from areas where new clusters have been reported. Chiang Mai provincial officials say that tourists from Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi – basically Bangkok and surrounding provinces – must complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine or conduct a test for Covid when they arrive.

The reality is that the travel and quarantine changes are outstripping the ability to communicate them all. Anyone crossing into other provinces in the next few day, especially if you’re travelling from Bangkok and surrounding provincial ‘red zones’ can expect some additional paperwork or a Covid test. Or even quarantine.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Transport Ministry: refunds to cancel travel for Covid-19

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Transport Ministry: refunds to cancel travel for Covid-19 | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Travellers can cancel travel and be refunded due to Covid-19

The Transport Ministry is launching plans to deal with forced cancellations of travel plans due to the most recent Covid-19 outbreak. With recent restrictions on entertainment venues, Songkran festivities, and some areas implementing quarantines for domestic travel, many holiday travellers will likely have no choice but to cancel their plans. The Transport Ministry has declared that all passengers by bus or train scheduled to travel between April 9 and 18 can receive a full refund on cancelled trips. They hope to help control the spreading of the Covid-19 outbreak by giving people the easier option to cancel travel over the Songkran holiday.

The State Railway of Thailand will refund tickets but advise people to cancel their trips at least 24 hours before the original scheduled travel. They also said that any tickets bought using both cash and state welfare card benefits will only receive a refund on the cash portion of the ticket. Special tickets bought as part of a group guided tour or on a chartered train trip will also be fully refundable if cancelled 1 day in advance. The SRT did say exceptions would be made to allow cancellation only 1 hour before departure if the departure or arrival location is declared a strict or maximum control zone.

Online reservations are asked to send an email to passenger-ser@railway.co.th with your e-tickets and a refund request.

For those who decide to keep their holiday plans and not cancel travel, the SRT is strongly advising all passengers to wear face masks at all times and adhere to social distancing protocol. The Thai Chana system will be used for checking in and out and travellers are being asked to notify staff in the station if they see anyone with flu-like symptoms, or if they experience any symptoms themselves.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Expats

Airlines and hotels try to cope with cancellations for Songkran

Tim Newton

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Airlines and hotels try to cope with cancellations for Songkran | Thaiger

Airlines and hotels are reporting cancellations from many of their customers as travellers react to the news of the new clusters and infections being detected in the provinces. Bars and entertainment venues close for 2 weeks in 44 provinces from midnight tonight, according to an order from the Thai PM. Entertainment venues in the other 35 provinces will remain open at the discretion of their provincial officials.

The Thai government has also announced today a series of measures to assist with refunds for people that have cancelled, or been forced to cancel, their bookings.

Thai VietJet asked us to publish their arrangements due to the queries from their customers. We will publish any other announcements from airlines and large organisations as they come to hand…

Due to the Covid-19 escalation in Thailand, the airline announces its policy to support passengers holding Thai Vietjet tickets on all domestic routes.

For passengers who booked tickets and made payments before 10 April 2021 with travel date between 12 -30 April 2021, may choose 1 of the supports as following:

  1. One-time changing the travel date free of charge. New travel date must be by July 31, 2021 and subject to flight availability. Rerouting is not applicable.
  2. Keeping the value of the ticket as a Credit Voucher, which is valid within July 31, 2021.

Passengers who have travel dates fall into the above-mentioned period and wish to contact the airline for support regarding change of flight or credit shell by voucher (at least 72 hours before the original departure time), please choose 1 of the options below:

  1. By E-Form: https://bit.ly/2L6Yv4z (Recommended Channel)
  2. By Line: @Thaivietjet
  3. By email: vz.support@vietjetair.com
  4. By Live Chat at https://skyfun.vietjetair.com/

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