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

Caitlin Ashworth



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 "villa quarantine" | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: Nation Thailand

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Nation Thailand


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  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


    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


    Monday, February 22, 2021 at 4:00 pm

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

  4. Avatar


    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


      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


        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


    Monday, February 22, 2021 at 4:13 pm

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

    • Avatar


      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


    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


    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


      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


        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


            Monday, February 22, 2021 at 7:22 pm

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

          • 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:

            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


            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


    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


        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


      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


      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


    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


    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.

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