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59 foreign tourists arrive in Phuket, first to undergo the luxurious “villa quarantine”

Caitlin Ashworth

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59 foreign tourists arrive in Phuket, first to undergo the luxurious “villa quarantine” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sri Panwa

59 tourists have arrived in Thailand and are now in “villa quarantine” at a luxury resort in Phuket. In an effort to boost the country’s economy and revive the tourism sector, Thai officials have focused on attracting rich tourists who will spend a lot of money during their visit to Thailand.

13 of the tourists flew to Thailand from Indonesia on a chartered Garuda Airlines flight and arrived at the Phuket International Airport yesterday night. The rest of the tourists arrived 2 hours later on another chartered flight from Indonesia.

The tourists, from various European countries, met in Indonesia before travelling to Phuket. They are all staying at the Sri Panwa luxury resort on the island province to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine. They are the first group to undergo the expensive “villa quarantine” since the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration approved the quarantine scheme last year.

For the first 5 days of the quarantine, the visitors must stay in their room. After that, they can use the facilities at the hotel.

In an earlier report, Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesperson Taweesilp Visanuyothin said the new quarantine scheme could put Thailand on the map as a tourist destination in the “new era.”

“If villa quarantine is successfully implemented, meaning there will not be a Covid-19 case, or infection can be effectively controlled, we will be a tourist destination in the new era.”

59 foreign tourists arrive in Phuket, first to undergo the luxurious

PHOTO: Nation Thailand

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Nation Thailand

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39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Tim Houston

    Monday, February 22, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    Don’t bother with these Issan guys, they have nothing else to do with their time.
    Think about it, they spend all their time re-reading all the comments from all the articles at the Thaiger and publishing their hate, that gives you an idea who you are dealing with.
    Of course they don’t want the situation to improve for Thailand, as they don’t have the money and youth to travel or go out on social events, so it’s better off for them if whole world is suffering like they do.
    That is why they stagnate in a remote village in Isaan where living is dirt cheap and have nothing else to do than spread their hate over the internet.

  2. Avatar

    Craig

    Monday, February 22, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    People can not sit still too long for the most part. Some even get on a plane to nowhere (take off/return to same airport) to ease whatever pain they’re going through. Interesting times. Best to all however you deal with it.

  3. Avatar

    L.F.

    Monday, February 22, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    59 tourists from different countries met in Indonesia before coming to Thailand.
    Like magic!

  4. Avatar

    Pedro

    Monday, February 22, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    I really want Thailand to get back to normal so I can return there sooner than rather than later, but 59 ‘rich tourists’ are hardly going to revive the economy and ‘put Thailand on the map as a tourist destination in the “new era.”‘ They are hardly likely to eat street food once they can leave their villa prisons, or revive all the closed bars and restaurants, buy from street or beach vendors, have massages outside their hotel, or swamp the tourists attractions with their presence. They will not revive the economy, but ordinary tourists will. Please stop pretending this is something it is not, as credibility is extremely hard to gain but very easy to lose. Every journey must begin with the first step, but this, the tiniest of steps forward, could also be a big step backwards by putting off the normal tourist if they are told that Thailand is now only for the very rich.

    • Avatar

      Patrick

      Monday, February 22, 2021 at 4:13 pm

      FANTASTIC 59 ( INSTEAD OF PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED 70) What about the occupancy of 6 golf resorts ? Good effort against 40 Millions 2019, 6,9 Millions for first quarter 2020, better than nothing right ?

    • Avatar

      Ugly John

      Monday, February 22, 2021 at 5:26 pm

      You’re not right. Thailand can become an elite resort. They just need to send 90% of the workers in the tour industry to Isan to grow canabis. And they made it already. Destroy all cheap hotels and guesthouses.. And of course forget about millions of tourist. Few hundred thousand possible. Anyone who visit Thailand before welcome to the Phillipines a great place for travelers with budget $ 1000-2000 for 2-4 weeks. Philippines nice and friendly. And a lot of beautiful girls even much better then Thailand before covid 😉

      • Avatar

        Zam

        Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 5:11 pm

        Is Philippines open to tourists (from uk) – in UK we gotta put up with pathetic government saying no international travel at the moment

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      Monday, February 22, 2021 at 5:56 pm

      Yeah, these are the kind of people who have been living in self-imposed quarantine for years anyway.

  5. Avatar

    Gosport

    Monday, February 22, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    More and more rich tourists come for the jab. It is vaccine tourism.

    • Avatar

      Slugger

      Monday, February 22, 2021 at 5:16 pm

      They had the atlas upside down then.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, February 22, 2021 at 7:15 pm

      What jab?

      If only …

  6. Avatar

    Maverick

    Monday, February 22, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    Straws and clutching comes to mind – focus on getting country ready for Oct 1 and sensible reopening without ridiculous quarantine requirements…….researching vaccination passports would be far more sensible as would getting airports set up for testing on arrival – that would give folks far more confidence in the authorities bring an end to this debacle, and more importantly being able to plan ahead.

  7. Avatar

    Maverick

    Monday, February 22, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    I suspect the majority of these folks may not even be tourists but residents who want a more refined quarantine than the exec prison in BKK where they can’t smoke or have a beer……after quarantine they go to their respective homes

    • Avatar

      Patrick

      Monday, February 22, 2021 at 4:52 pm

      Must be very correct !! How it was organized w charter private planes, magic as I read and top secret

      • Avatar

        L.F.

        Monday, February 22, 2021 at 5:11 pm

        But why from Indonesia? Very strange.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Monday, February 22, 2021 at 7:12 pm

          .. and how could they be “tourists”, meeting up in Bali, when Bali doesn’t allow any tourists in?

          More holes in this farce than a Gruyere cheese 😮

          • Avatar

            L.F.

            Monday, February 22, 2021 at 7:22 pm

            I’m Swiss, Gruyère cheese has no holes, it’s the Emmental one with holes everywhere. 🙂
            Cheers

          • Avatar

            Frank Leboeuf

            Monday, February 22, 2021 at 7:27 pm

            I’ve asked the same question on Bali groups, no real answer.
            Could be they actually entered Indonesia on B211A business visas like other tourists, or that the Indonesian government has actually discretely allowed such a tour during the pandemic (odd, but hey…)

            Something like this:
            https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2019/09/08/these-ultra-luxe-tours-can-take-you-around-the-world-in-a-private-jet.html

            More than the “villa quarantine” angle, I’m interested in the status of this group described in the BP article as travelling “in a bubble” in different countries.
            Really odd…

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Monday, February 22, 2021 at 9:19 pm

            Mea culpa, L.F. 🙁

            I should really have said “Swiss cheese”.

            Have you tried French Gruyère, though?

            No idea why, but while Swiss Gruyère is rejected with holes, French Gruyère is the opposite and rejected if there are no holes and it’s “blind / aveugle” 😮

            Weirder than the “wealthy tourists” who met up in Bali when no “tourists” have been allowed in!

          • Avatar

            Ray

            Monday, February 22, 2021 at 9:48 pm

            These are likely people who live year round in Bali in their swanky villas. Perhaps living there at the moment is not as good when isolated in your home and with Covid-19 spreading like fire.

          • Avatar

            Toby Andrews

            Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 12:08 pm

            As usual. I john get your facts right. Gruyere cheese does not have holes a L.F. points out!
            Do you really expect anyone to take you seriously if you don’t know THAT?

  8. Avatar

    Rob

    Monday, February 22, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    Hope it works out…
    Haven’t been to Phuket for many years, but looking at the deals there now, it might be worth the drive and baht for a week or two stay…?
    Just guessing, but I imagine that the locals will be treating their guests much better these days… ?

    • Avatar

      London Al

      Monday, February 22, 2021 at 5:43 pm

      Except the tourists won’t see any locals as they’re not allowed out, the only people who benefit from this are the hotel owners.

      • Avatar

        Rob

        Monday, February 22, 2021 at 7:13 pm

        I guess ‘more benefits’ depends on the length of their stay. They can go out and about wherever they want after quarantine ends if all goes well… ?

        • Avatar

          Andy W

          Monday, February 22, 2021 at 7:53 pm

          They may actually open a restaurant or two especially for them…

    • Avatar

      Dave

      Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 5:41 pm

      On my last trip to Phuket, I agreed with a taxi driver 500 baht to take me from patong to the airport and surprise, 10 minutes before the airport he demanded 1200 baht or left me in the middle of the road, making me miss my international flight to Europe. Groovy taxi drivers scammers phuket mobsters. great memories

  9. Avatar

    Ugly John

    Monday, February 22, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    It will be good if Thailand can make the U-turn from mass tourism to luxury tourism. It will be interesting to see what happens. It’s a pity I can’t see it with my own eyes, because I’m not rich. I will travel to the Philippines there most of all like good old Thailand. Lots of beautiful girls

  10. Avatar

    brian mc

    Monday, February 22, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    sounds more like a swingers party than random people meeting by chance and deciding to charter 2 planes to thailand.
    be interested to know what they will “spend a lot of money” on… maybe legal fees if they post negative reviews of the villas.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Monday, February 22, 2021 at 6:15 pm

      I will be interested to read their reviews, if any.
      The last years Trip Advisor reviews of this resort have been very mixed . . .
      One review called then Thieves.

  11. Avatar

    Daniel Verex

    Monday, February 22, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    My perfect holiday. 14 days, unlimited food, wine and a beautiful view. A bit like cruising but on dry land. Not being dragged off shopping, just pure relaxation.

    Massage every day, a swimming pool, dine on demand – OK you have to pay – but sounds idyllic

    Well I can dream….

    • Avatar

      EdwardV

      Monday, February 22, 2021 at 8:44 pm

      Well nothing is stopping you from doing so now. Thailand is open, you just need to go down to the embassy and fill out all the paperwork and make the necessary reservations. Heck you might even be able to quarantine at the same hotel. If it’s your dream go for it. Personally I’m going to wait until they drop the quarantine. Might be as early as October or November. However, I’m hearing rumors it might be even sooner if TAT gets it’s way.

  12. Avatar

    Jim kelly

    Monday, February 22, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    I found a bona fide, “Fit to Fly” certificate to download on the internet. Soooooooo EASY to forge!! Doctor’s registration number the whole shooting match! It’s all starting to happen folks!

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 1:35 am

      Didn’t work so well for at least one person!

      Easy to forge the doctor’s certificate, PCR test, etc, but evidently (and understandably) Embassies are linked to Immigration.

      Forging anything with a Thai crest on it is taken more seriously, so unless you want to sell your story about life behind bars in Thailand I’d think carefully …

      • Avatar

        Andy W

        Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 11:06 am

        “fit to fly” is from a doctor, not the embassy like the COE.

  13. Avatar

    Jonnie

    Monday, February 22, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    Only 39,999,941 more to go.

  14. Avatar

    Anh Lam

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 7:20 am

    I concur that Bali is closed. If these are european tourists, when they arrived into Indonesia, did they do 14 days quaranteen? Hmmmmm… Maybe or maybe not.

    Lets say maybe, then they had to spend a lot of money there and now this in Phuket?

    Right facts not fiction. Wait and see what happens after 5 days solitari confinement in a room.

    Who will monitor that process. I should go to this resort and park myself outside their entrance and see how many rules are broken.

  15. Avatar

    B Joe

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 7:55 am

    Less than 1 % of the population benefits from high-end, luxury quarantine,junkets, I mean besides those in government with financial interest in these resorts.

  16. Avatar

    J West

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    59…..!!!! Well that’s it!!! Thai tourism is back!! Taxi fares just doubled.

  17. Avatar

    Nipral

    Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    Done ! All we need now is just another 38.999.949 biped to follow and the economy is saved ! Easy, just a matter of math !!! Why didn’t they do it before ?

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update

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79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update | The Thaiger

Today, the Thai government is reporting 79 new cases of Covid-19, with 65 locally-transmitted, and 14 imported, raising the total to 26,241 since the pandemic began. 1 new death has been reported, raising the total amount of deaths to 85. The new infections, which are now in the double-digits, shows Thailand’s Covid situation as improving according to the assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, Panprapa Yongtrakul.

“The two-digit level of new cases found at hospitals and communities shows that the local Covid-19 situation is under control.”

The CCSA reports that 43 of the 65 local infections were found in communities with 22 of the 65 found in hospitals across 4 provinces.

Samut Sakhon province, the source of the second wave of Covid in the Kingdom, reported 77% of the new cases. Of the 50 cases found in the province, 38 were found in communities and 12 were found at hospitals.

Pathum Thani reported 8 new cases, with 3 being found at hospitals, and 5 in the community. Bangkok reported 6 new cases at hospitals and Chon Buri reported 1 infection found at a hospital. 12 of the 14 imported infections were quarantined arrivals from Russia, The United Arab Emirates, The United States, Slovenia, South Africa, Germany, Libya and Italy.

79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update | News by The Thaiger

The other 2 imported cases were that of Thai women, who ellegedly returned from Myanmar illegally through a natural border crossing in Tak province, despite the government closing off natural border crossings after the February coup by the military in Myanmar.

Covid-19 cases rose worldwide by 446,747 over the past 24 hours to 116.21 million. The worldwide death toll rose by 9,955 to 2.58 million. The US still has the most cases at 29.53 million, rising by 68,321 over the past 24 hours, and the most deaths at 533,636, rising by 1,993 over the last 24 hours.

In light of the recent downturn in reported cases, Samut Sakhon has recently reopened 22 of its wet markets. However, the seafood market where the second wave of the Covid outbreak began, is not one of them, and it is not yet known when that might reopen.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai Health Minister to chair panel on travel bubbles, vaccine passports

Maya Taylor

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Thai Health Minister to chair panel on travel bubbles, vaccine passports | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Thailand’s Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, will chair a meeting on Monday, in which a vaccine passport scheme and potential travel bubbles will be discussed. Anutin says those who’ve been inoculated against Covid-19 will be issued with a book to confirm their vaccination. It’s hoped this will make international travel easier, as well as boosting the public’s confidence and helping life return to some kind of normality.

“The Public Health Ministry is making preparations to bring life back to normal, restore businesses and revive the Thai economy.”

A number of groups and industry representatives have added their voices to growing calls for a vaccine passport policy. The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking is urging the government to implement the scheme without further delay, while also calling for private companies in Thailand to be allowed purchase and distribute vaccines.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is also pushing for a vaccine passport policy, while the Tourism Ministry has urged the Health Ministry to approve one. Meanwhile the PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked the Foreign Ministry to carry out a study on vaccine passports, adding that the jury is still out as to their effectiveness. They also have their critics, primarily among rights’ groups and doctors, who argue that there is not yet enough evidence that vaccination prevents transmission.

At Monday’s meeting of the National Communicable Diseases Committee, the Anutin-led panel will also discuss the idea of travel bubbles. Thailand has been considering entering into reciprocal travel arrangements with countries with a high take-up of Covid-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, Anutin says the public must continue with the practice of mask-wearing, noting that the number of Thais doing so has recently slipped. He says that recent data shows the number of people wearing masks has dropped below 80%, compared to 90% last month.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Hospital in northern Thailand closes to visitors after 2 patients test positive for Covid-19

Maya Taylor

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Hospital in northern Thailand closes to visitors after 2 patients test positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand Medical News

A hospital in the northern province of Tak has had to shut its doors to visitors after 2 patients treated at the facility subsequently tested positive for Covid-19. Nation Thailand reports that Mae Sot Hospital is now closed to visitors until Monday.

It’s understood that 19 staff members have had contact with 2 patients who tested positive for the virus. Hospital director Thawatchai Setsuppana says the closure is to facilitate a deep clean of the facility and confirmed that a number of medical workers are self-isolating.

“3 doctors, 11 nurses and 5 patient assistants have been ordered to undergo 14-day quarantine.”

Officials are now questioning both patients, in an effort to trace others who may have had contact with them. Tak province is on the border with Myanmar, which has had 142,000 cases of the virus, with 3,200 deaths.

Meanwhile, in the northern province of Sukothai, the provincial Public Health Office has confirmed that a Thai national who returned from working at a casino in Myanmar has also tested positive for Covid-19. It’s understood the woman developed symptoms prior to entering Thailand at the border town of Mae Sot on March 1, before taking a bus to her home in order to attend her grandfather’s funeral.

The provincial health office has issued a statement to confirm the timeline of the woman’s movements. It’s understood 17 people had contact with the woman, with 7 of those considered “high-risk”.

“On March 2, she took a Covid-19 test at Sukhothai Hospital and went shopping in Muang district before heading home. She was admitted to Ban Dan Lan Hoi Hospital on March 3 after her test came back positive.”

It is unclear how the woman managed to evade the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Border officials have stepped up patrols in recent weeks, amid fears that Burmese nationals fleeing the violence in Myanmar may attempt to cross illegally into Thailand, bypassing health checks and quarantine.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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