Now that the Phuket Sandbox is up and running, international travellers are trickling back in to enjoy the Thai tropical island. More than 6,000 people have reportedly registered for the Phuket Sandbox so far, no arrivals have tested positive for Covid-19 yet, and officials are tightening up the land entry borders to the island.
The Director-General of the Department of Information and Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson announced on his Twitter account that 6,020 people have signed up for the Phuket Sandbox program. At least 1,379 Certificates of Entry have been approved for the Sandbox and issued by July 1, and 3,034 Covid-19 vaccination certificates have been reviewed and accepted.
But 379 COE applications have been reportedly rejected for failing to meet the entry requirements and over 4,000 applications are yet to be processed. The approvals are being issued at around 300 per day, with 323 granted on July 1, 481 on the 2nd, and 279 on July 3 approved so far.
The spokesman says they are trying to get all certificates processed before their travelling dates, but some travellers did not submit all the valid and necessary documents, and they were limited by the late approval of the Sandbox just 2 days before the grand opening date of July 1.
For those who have made it to Phuket however, one statistic is cause for celebration. After about a dozen international flight arrivals by the end of today, not a single person has tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival. Not all results have been received yet, but about 400 negative test results have been returned so far.
But that doesn’t mean the Phuket Sandbox has been Covid-19 free. 7 new infections were reported by the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office yesterday, and 52 patients are still under supervision and receiving medical care. Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew said that most new cases are being identified in quarantined people who entered Phuket overland.
As a result, the governor declared that the 14 day ‘ASQ’ quarantine for people arriving in Phuket by land will no longer be an option. Going forward, people crossing the bridge onto Phuket are required to either show proof of their vaccination or the negative result of a Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival ( was 7 days before the change).
All people entering Phuket during the Sandbox are also required to install the Mor Chana app to track their movements during their stay. Anyone failing to meet these requirements will be denied entry into the island.
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