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

Maya Taylor

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Officials meet in Phuket to discuss implementing “area quarantine” from April | Thaiger
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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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    Happy Tourist

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    no, thanks.

  4. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    zig

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 3:32 pm

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

  6. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai government urges people to work from home where possible

Maya Taylor

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Thai government urges people to work from home where possible | Thaiger
PHOTO: WJ van den Eijkhof / Flickr

The government is calling on all employers whose staff can work from home to implement such measures immediately, as new Covid-19 infections hit another record high. Yesterday, the Kingdom reported 1,767 new infections and 2 additional deaths, taking the death toll to 101. There are 28 patients on ventilators. According to a Bangkok Post report, Taweesilp Visanuyothin from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration says recent data shows growing clusters of infection at work places.

One such cluster has been reported at a school in the central province of Samut Prakan, just south of Bangkok. 32 people have tested positive after 2 foreign teachers returned from a trip to Phuket between April 2 and 4, where they frequented a number of nightlife venues. After they returned to Bangkok, they resumed work at the school. supervising exams between April 5 and 8. On April 8, they attended a party in the evening and tested positive for the virus the next day. 23 students have also tested positive, along with 4 of their relatives.

Other clusters include 23 infections at a private firm in Chon Buri and 8 at an electricity authority office in the north-eastern province of Udon Thani. Taweesilp says the rise in infections in work environments indicates the need for people to work from home where possible.

“This is the reason the CCSA is asking for your cooperation to step up work-from-home measures. Companies which have reported cluster infections, if you can allow your employees to work from home, please do so.”

He adds that the Health Ministry is addressing the long waitlist for hospital beds in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The head of the Department of Medical Services, Somsak Akksilp, is acting as coordinator between hospitals and those running field hospitals, such as the Thai army. Covid-19 patients still waiting to be admitted to hospital are urged to comply with disease prevention measures and self-isolate with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, Opas Karnkawinpong from the Department of Disease Control echoes the call for home working measures to be implemented wherever possible following the long Songkran holiday. Tens of thousands of people travelled across the country over the course of the holiday, but Opas says if home working can be implemented and the public cooperates with disease prevention measures, new infections should drop over the next 2 weeks.

“We’re concerned about community transmission in schools and workplaces. The work-from-home policy is important as we expect people to return to work on Monday. Please avoid gatherings, sharing of items and eating together.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Website, self-quarantine for post-Songkran Bangkok travellers

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Website, self-quarantine for post-Songkran Bangkok travellers | Thaiger
PHOTO: bkkcovid19.bangkok.go.th website to register people returning to Bangkok.

Bangkok is taking proactive steps to deal with the likely surge of Covid-19 cases after the Songkran holiday, asking those returning to Bangkok to submit their timelines online and self-quarantine 14 days. Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang is urging all people entering Bangkok to visit a website where they can perform a self-evaluation to assess their Covid-19 risk.

The website, bkkcovid19.bangkok.go.th, allows travellers returning to Bangkok to input their travel timelines and their personal information after scanning a QR code. The system will help with contact tracing, aggregating all the travel information to make following any threads of Covid-19 spread much more efficient. Health officials will be able to access and contact anyone thought to have come in contact with a Covid-19 infected person.

Songkran is usually one of the busiest travel periods of the year with millions of people going on holiday or visiting relatives. The government launches road safety campaigns to combat the swell in traffic and accidents. And even with Covid-19 cancelling most Songkran celebrations, Bangkok still saw nearly 8 million vehicles coming and going this festival period. A swell in Coronavirus infections spread throughout the country is likely as people travelled all over Thailand and back to celebrate the Thai New Year’s holiday.

Governor Aswin explained the platform is hoped to help contain possible outbreaks by providing crucial information to health officials to trace Covid-19 spread. The system will analyze infection risk for each person who registers and give them instructions on how to proceed. People deemed to be at risk will receive a free Covid-19 swab test from Bangkok health officials, while low-risk cases will be instructed to self-quarantine for 2 weeks.

SOURCE: The Pattaya Mail

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday. Provincial totals.

Tim Newton

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Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday. Provincial totals. | Thaiger

1,767 new Covid infections were reported this morning, the highest ever daily report of new cases in Thailand. The spokesperson for the CCSA also reported that there were also 128 people in serious condition, with 28 people on ventilators.

608,521 people have now received at least their first dose of Covid vaccine.

Bangkok continues to lead the way in the new infections although the clusters are popping up right around the country now. Bangkok reported 347 new infections, Chon Buri with 229, Chiang Mai with 164, Nonthaburi, just north and west of Bangkok, 100, Prachuap Khiri Khan 66 and Samut Prakan 64. Locally, Phuket officials announced an additional 26 cases today, taking the tally in this latest cluster to 156 infections*.

Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday. Provincial totals. | News by ThaigerOnly 2 cases today were imported, everyone else who tested positive were living in Thailand.

The total number of infections in Thailand has now reached 42,352 people. There has been 2 additional deaths reported in the past 24 hours, taking that total to 101 dead from Covid-related disease. 13,569 people remain in state-monitored care.

Some provinces are adding their own restrictions, including demanding negative Covid tests if you’ve arrived from a red zone – Krabi and Trat have announced this already. The only exceptions are if you’ve had full doses of Covid vaccine or have just come from quarantine. Chiang Rai has announced a ‘request’ that citizens stay at home for the next 14 days.

In Phuket, the closure of entertainment venues has been further extended to the start of May.

Expect more provinces to make similar announcements in the next few days.

If you are travelling, or planning to travel, it would be recommended to pre-load the Mor Chana app on your phones and fill out the information. This will help avoid some delays as you arrive in new provinces.

*Readers should also realise that the local provincial health officials report daily as well. Those totals don’t usually find their way into the national daily tally until the next day.

Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday. Provincial totals. | News by Thaiger

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