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TAT re-confirms Phuket’s reopening date of July 1

Tim Newton

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TAT re-confirms Phuket’s reopening date of July 1 | Thaiger

The Thai PM, and the CCSA, have confirmed that Phuket’s re-opening WILL happen on July 1. This confirms months of insistence that the plan will go ahead.

The confirmation comes against a background of daily new infections in the country of over 2,000 and ongoing confusion about the country’s vaccine roll out. Saturday’s Thailand Covid report HERE.

According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand announcement, people arriving in Phuket will need to be fully vaccinated, produce a negative test when they arrive in the province, along with another test on the fifth day of their visit, all at their cost.

Travellers will need to remain on the island of Phuket for at least 7 nights before able to travel elsewhere in the country.

Importantly, apart from having to stay on the island, there is no quarantine under the current plan. There’s also little detail about any other paperwork that will be provided at this stage.

Phuket is still under a soft lockdown which includes restrictions for restaurants, serving of alcohol, opening hours of shopping centres and other shops, closure of bars, arrival restrictions, mask wearing and requests for people to stay at home each night between 10pm and 4am. All these will need to be lifted, we assume, before the July 1 deadline.

Yesterday’s announcement also follows a week where Thai Airways announced weekly flights, directly to Phuket, from a number of European cities. The company, currently under a restructure plan, has announced that bookings are open. There are also thousands of Thai Airways customers who are awaiting refunds for flights booked last year after the airline was grounded in April 2020.

Whether travellers would be able to fly into Bangkok, transit, and then fly to Phuket under the new arrangement is yet to be announced.

The TAT aimed the announcement primarily at hotel and service providers urging them to get ready and committing their resources to publicise the re-opening of the island.

Phuket’s “sandbox” plan will be a pilot for additional reopening around the country in coming months, starting with high volume tourist locations.

Yesterday the southern island province announced a further 3 new cases as the daily Covid infection rate slowly falls. The provincial government is also trying to fast-track vaccination so that 70% of the island will be fully vaccinated by the reopening date.

We’ll have more details about this grand reopening to international travel as they emerge.

But I still has some niggling questions to ask the government as Phuket readies itself for the July 1 reopening date…

Here are the current guidelines for travelling to Phuket…

TAT re-confirms Phuket's reopening date of July 1 | News by Thaiger

 

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AussieBob
2021-05-29 13:54

I would bet on two thi9ngs about this.

It wont happen very well - not many takers.

If it does happen - they will stuff it up.

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Tim
2021-05-30 00:56

not gonna happen, they will call off at the very last second.

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AussieBob
2021-05-30 08:57
7 hours ago, Tim said:

not gonna happen, they will call off at the very last second.

Probably true. But even worse than that:-- After suckers/people arrive they will have a few new Covid cases on the island and they will lock-down the island (no new arrivals) and impose a quarantine on all new arrivals (they caused it). And/or:- People who arrive in Phuket and then immediately travel to other parts of Thailand (that was their plan) test positive for Covid and Phuket is locked-down by the Junta, and they impose a quarantine on all arrivals (and no new ones allowed). And/or:- so many other things that can go wrong. I truly hope that does not happen and then Phuket becomes a total disaster for 1-2 years (no tourists). But if 'they' think that vaccinating 70% of Phuket is going to stop new cases, or maybe even a new wave, they are dreaming/delusional. If they do go ahead, then they should close the border and allow no one in or out that has not been vaccinated and tests negative (roads airports and boats). Phuket has a chance to do this correctly as they have enforceable borders - but if they think in Chon Buri or Chiang Mai that they can also follow that Phuket model, they are seriously wrong. All it takes is an outbreak like the current one, and the Junta will shut things down - and tourists will cancel and demand refunds (and good luck getting that - people still waiting over a year for refunds).

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King Cotton
2021-05-30 09:32

Interesting and insightful comments, AussieBob . . . as per usual.

I guess, in a nutshell, you're saying 'problems probable!' and I can only agree. Tweaking or bending accepted protocols is bound to slap someone in the face, either locals, tourists or TAT big-knobs.

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AussieBob
2021-05-30 12:28

Yes KC - too many variables for Thailand to control - for anyone to control in fact. All over the world the Govt vaccine rollouts are struggling to varying degrees. Plus there is no science yet to show that they will actually stop the spread (the science says likely not), and how much they will actually slow the spread will only be measurable after 70+% are inoculated - and a 6-12 month assessment post that time. Lots of hope - and I do hope that it all goes well - but I am planning for the worst (no travel outside of 'safe' Queensland until the pandemic is genuinely under control). I see so much planning based upon when they think a lot of people will have received the vaccine - but in my opinion the planning should start once/when/if the vaccines are proven to work. Like I said in another post, the Spanish Flu killed 50-100 million and lasted 2.5 years with 4 main 'waves' - I am planning for travel in May 2022. Hope it is sooner, but I am not planning for that.

27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Mjm

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 9:36 am

    Yes but let them not worry about all us dirty farangs that live here and add to society. We don’t need the vaccine. If we don’t like it we can leave right?!

  2. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Questions: the arrival test is rapid or PCR? If PCR, do you need to quarantine until they get a result? If you need to quarantine is it at a facility or your hotel? Same for the day five test. Is a pre-flight test required? Is there a test required after day seven to leave the island? Do you need to fly direct to Phuket or can to arrive at BKK first? If at BKK, is the first test there or in Phuket? Insurance? Fit to fly certificate? Special visa?

  3. Avatar

    willem

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    “The Thai PM, and the CCSA, have confirmed that Phuket’s re-opening WILL happen on July”

    Was that a recent decision from the CCSA and the PM or the initial go ahead with the plan decision end of march?

  4. Avatar

    Tim Houston

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    Even, embassies of Thailand in Europe can’t answer these questions. They don’t have any information or instructions from the Thai government on what paperwork will be required to let you board an airplane in direction to Phuket. I am vaccinated and don’t have any stamped or official papers to prove that I have been vaccinated. (Only a small paper card easy to replicate). Will this be sufficient? Undoubtedly not but the Thai embassy can’t answer that question.
    We are 30 days before the big day, that shows how well they are prepared…

  5. Avatar

    Jason

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    I would think that any requirement to transit via bangkok would be a deal breaker. The smart thing is to have direct flights into Phuket from low risk countries. Thailand is no longer in a commanding position with respect to infections. With case numbers at 3000+ per day, countries whose infection rates number under 20 per day,won’t come if they have to risk going through Bangkok, where case numbers are high. Phuket really needs to be isolated from the rest of Thailand, if tourists are to have any confidence.

  6. Avatar

    Ripley's Believe it or not

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    Every hotel shop and bar stay closed till July. Open 1 July!!!!!! JOKE. No staff because they are all in there own province and can not return because can not get vaccine there to come back. Get a grip you are making a mockery of it all.

  7. Avatar

    Sam

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    @EdwardV – You think too much !!

  8. Avatar

    Ted

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    @EdwardV – valid questions, let me answer, by summarizing Tim’s video; stay away, for now.

    If you or anyone else is thinking of coming to Thailand, as a tourist, please let me tell you how about my days.
    I live in Thailand and had sadly gotten used to the “Thai style lockdown”. I only go outside when I buy my groceries or do my long distance running. I wear a mask when I buy food and a bicycle face cover thing when I run.

    Believe me THIS IS NOT HOW A TURIST WANTS TO LIVE even if you are tired of the situation in your country.

  9. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    It would be wise not to be the first to fly into this pirate’s island until August to be able to read the reports of the others that did.
    Certainly do not pay up front, and do not fly on Thai airways, they might not fly you home.
    Even if everything is smooth and honest, the Phuket Thais will just revert to their old habits of double pricing, rip off taxis, and scams. Better to wait until other parts of Thailand open up.

  10. Avatar

    Nigel

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    I take the point and concerns about transiting bkk, but there are two points to consider here. The first is that “dedicated” direct flights will cost a fortune. Second is that many of the people using this scheme will be as a way to easily re-enter Thailand and then go elsewhere in the country and staying several months. These people who then wish to return to thier home countries will not want to go back to Phuket to get their return flight home the alternative is a one way flight to Phuket, but that will be even more expensive and possibly not allowed? Who knows, but I won’t be arriving in July and will wait until August at the earliest.

  11. Avatar

    luca

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    Thais have a high opinion of themselves, which is why they do not understand that the tourist success achieved was due to the low prices and the freedom of the tourist to move as he wanted.
    Considering that the Chinese cannot travel, that the Indians are overwhelmed by the infection and the Russians do not want to vaccinate, what is left to attract Western tourists?
    I forgot they want to attract rich tourists … 555

  12. Avatar

    Andy W

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    I don’t believe they have adequate stocks of the vaccine to inoculate enough of the population twice before 1st July.
    Maybe I’m wrong but I won’t be booking in July (or even august) because I may be correct.

  13. Avatar

    James R

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    @Tim Houston –

    If you are in the UK then you can download the NHS app to you iPhone so you will have your NHS records on your phone which contain the names and dates of the vaccines you have had so that is acceptable as proof.

    But will it be safe to go to Thailand soon as the number of cases and deaths are rising very quickly?

    I know many farangs who do not wear masks in Thailand in public and it won’t take much to cause a backlash/hatred agains farangs when the number of deaths become very high there.

  14. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    Not exactly a holiday to look forward to with bars closed, no socialising, and press ups at the side of the road if you don’t have your mask on.

    Interesting what will happen / the reaction will be if / when a visitor tests positive on arrival – even more interesting if / when they test positive after 5 days.

  15. Avatar

    Robin Banks

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    Psssstttt! IF YOU ARE A TOURIST THINKING OF COMING TO THIS PHUKET SHyte HOLE… Don’t waste your time, effort money or RISK TO YOUR HEALTH AND WELL BEING!! THAILAND IF “FULL-ON” WITH COVID AT THE MOMENT…DO NOT COME HERE!! STAY AWAY!!!

  16. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    If Thailand is serious about opening July 1, most of these questions should have been answered months ago. The fact they are still not at this late date is absurd. They will get a few planes of tourists and hail it as a success. However they expect and need thousands per day and without the tourists knowing what to expect they are not going to show up in numbers. You almost get the feeling the people in charge have no clue.

  17. Avatar

    James R

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 9:17 pm

    @Simon Small aka Issan John

    True.

    I was there from January until August 2020, beaches closed, shopping areas closed, 90% of the tourist areas were closed so not much fun as you say. The tourist areas were like ghost towns.

    True what you say about being tested positive, I have had two vaccines but I can still carry the virus and pass it onto others but vaccinated people are 25 times less likely to infect others it has been shown.

    The vaccine will protect me from serious illness but I would still have to go into a field camp for example if I was found positive.

  18. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 9:17 pm

    I am pleased to see the small simon at last sees the Thais might find ferangs contagious and “jail” the ferang at great expense to the ferang in quarantine.
    No matter what he states, there are no second opinions on whether the ferang is contagious.
    The opportunity for Thai scams is overwhelming to the Thai mentality.

  19. Avatar

    Das

    Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 12:19 am

    Gas gas gas. If it does reopen, which I think is improbable, it’ll go belly up and close again within a month. Don’t get me wrong, I’m poised for Phuket to reopen so I can return, but just can’t see it happening – I hope I’m proven wrong.

  20. Avatar

    Tim Houston

    Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 12:51 am

    @James R – I am in Belgium, a friend has called Thai embassy 2 days ago. They can’t help as they don’t have any information whatsoever. There are so many questions unanswered here and no one has a clue. And they want to open in 30 days…
    Mark my word, they will do exactly as they did back in 2020 when they had announced to open the Phuket national airport, they cancelled at the very last minute, and they did it 2 times !

  21. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 2:10 am

    “No matter what he states, there are no second opinions on whether the ferang is contagious”

    Absolute bollox, @andrew t, as usual.

    There have been several instances given here of “second opinions” / re-tests of both farangs and Thais – all you have to do is pay and you can have as many re-tests as you want.

    “… and “jail” the ferang at great expense to the ferang in quarantine.”

    More bollox, inevitably.

    Quarantine is free, as is treatment for Covid. Widely and repeatedly reported here and in mainstream media.

  22. Avatar

    Dave the wave

    Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 4:51 am

    According to Freedom House, Thailand rates 30/100 in freedom. There you will surveilled, videoed, tracked and scrutinized 24 hours a day. Have fun in the police state.

  23. Avatar

    Jokers

    Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 7:50 am

    @Simon Small – quarantine is not free

  24. Avatar

    Joe

    Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 9:15 am

    Unfortunately yesterday afternoon an official announcement by the government that all restaurants&bars cannot sell alcohol till end of July. I got the official document here.
    That will not help Phuket much, I am afraid.

    • Thaiger

      Thaiger

      Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 11:01 am

      Hi Joe. Please send a copy to info@thethaiger.com. We’ll be glad to publish the information

  25. Avatar

    Joe Nyomozo

    Monday, May 31, 2021 at 6:32 am

    What is the Thai government’s obsession with Phuket? It is like they really believe that they can contain any infection within that island! Well it is not a labratory where you will contain anything! Government scientists and officials would be well advised to listen to science and follow better guidelines. So far ony so knwee jerk reactions and super slow vaccin approval and vaccination program. Western countries been donating ten’s of millions of vaccines and surely Thailand got some of it. What’s with the foot dragging?!

  26. Avatar

    BJoe

    Monday, May 31, 2021 at 4:10 pm

    Nobody knows….Nobody cares….because everyday will bring change and a new idea……because INCOMPETENCE rules the bureaucratic mob currently running the government. Uncle hasn’t a clue….the Watchman has been silent lately…..and the Tourist Minister has made soooo many screwed up predictions, he’s decided that it’s Sand box or nothing.

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 41 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented over 10,000 radio news bulletins, 3,900 in Thailand alone, hosted 650 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. As founder of The Thaiger, Tim now acts as the Content Manager and head-writer, whilst supervising the growth of the YouTube channel. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

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