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Officials meet in Phuket to discuss implementing “area quarantine” from April



PHOTO: Mike Swigunski on Unsplash

A number of officials, including Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn will meet in Phuket today to discuss the implementation of area quarantine on the southern island, possibly as soon as next month. Thai PBS World reports that various hotel representatives and other tourism businesses are expected to attend the meeting.

The idea of area quarantine has been proposed for a number of tourist destinations, including Phuket, in the desperate hope of attracting more foreign tourists. Visitors would still need to have all the necessary paperwork and insurance for travel to Thailand, including a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of travel. However, once in area quarantine, they would only be required to remain in their hotel rooms for the first 3 days of their stay. They would be tested for Covid-19 and, if negative after 3 days, allowed to leave the room and roam freely around the resort for the remainder of the 14-day quarantine.

The idea is to allow more foreign visitors freedom of movement and Phuket officials are hoping to get going with the scheme from as early as next month, subject to government approval. The pandemic has destroyed tourism on the southern island, with many hotels closed either temporarily or for good, and those that remain open struggling to survive. Occupancy rates have plummeted, reaching just 20% during holidays and weekends, thanks only to domestic tourists.

The area quarantine concept gives some cause for hope, as does the National Communicable Disease Committee’s approval of vaccine passports. These can be used to reduce mandatory quarantine for vaccinated foreign tourists, meaning anyone that can produce proof of vaccination would be subject to 7 days’ quarantine instead of the current 14. However, travellers from South Africa will still have to endure the full 14 days, due to variants of the virus found in that country.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


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  1. dave

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 11:09 am

    If you can’t leave the facility, you’re still under quarantine. Try testing for covid on departure to Thailand, then again after 3 days in Thailand, then let us go free. Especially if we’ve been vaccinated. Why are they making it so difficult to go to Thailand as a tourist?

  2. EdwardV

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 11:20 am

    “ expected to attract more foreign visitors ” – probably shouldn’t expect too much. It’s still a quarantine and tourists won’t go for it. So I’m guessing if they approve the reduced quarantine for vaccinated people, you would be locked in your room for 3 days and then locked in the hotel grounds for another 4 days. I’d still wait, they are going to drop the quarantine altogether soon enough. Figure sometime between July and October. Just my guess.

  3. Happy Tourist

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    no, thanks.

  4. Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    They still do not want to give up the profitable quarantine, and did any one notice the sneaky way they put the quarantine up from 14 days to 17 days?
    Nice try Thai, but no cigar.

  5. zig

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    goodbye Thailand….you are dreaming again…NOBODY is coming under this scheme

  6. Issan John

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    How can it be “area quarantine” if you’re confined to the hotel?

    At least with golf quarantine the golf courses are closed to all outsiders for each 14 day “block”.

    Are the hotels closed areas?

    If not, and other guests and staff can “mingle” with the quarantined, WTF is the point?

  7. Geoff

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    Good point, and it’s not just the q period. Once you are in their clutches, how do you fight it? Or query results? Nobody trusts them. With good reason.
    Always remember the motto “Money number 1”.

  8. shawn

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 6:25 pm

    as a usual visitor from west oz,we cant leave oz yet,but when thailand stops behaving like prima donnas and gets the tourists back then may be we will have a ‘decent stay’. no way would i pay etc., for this isolation crap.ban all chinese/indonesians and any other dirty country. TIC

  9. LondonAl

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    I feel very sorry for Phuket, they’re trying so hard to come up with ideas to get tourists back whrn they must know they’re not going to work, I agree with Dave, there is no reason to prevent a vaccinated tested tourist entering the country, personally I might consider a couple of nights in quarantine but preferably at my own hotel.

  10. Tony

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    They are still not thinking about suffering without tourism just dreaming. No one going to quarantined even one day.

  11. Baroness

    Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 1:19 am

    The majority of tourists coming to Thailand were the all-inclusive package.
    They just add to show a passport at the airport to get a 30 day visa.
    No certificate of Entry, no certificate to fly, no Covid Insurance, no PCR test, no quarantine, etc…
    These tourists had just some spare change for a few souvenirs made in China sold at the night market.
    Why these tourists came to Thailand? Because it was exotic and cheaper than Europe.

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