After the story went viral of a man being charged for an overstay because he was locked in Hotel Isolation after testing positive for Covid-19, Phuket is taking action. The Immigration Chief of Phuket is sending staff around to local hotels to make sure that people caught in a 10-day Hotel Isolation do not have their visas expire.
If a traveller tests positive for Covid-19 while in Thailand, they are subject to a mandatory isolation period of 10 days, but what if their immigration stamp ends in 5? Authorities tout their new plan as a proactive step to keep people on the right side of the law, by offering this convenience they say builds trust and shows that Phuket is taking care of their tourists.
The immigration Chief explained that Phuket is remaining vigilant against the spreading Omicron variant throughout the world. He also conceded that this abundance of caution can create difficult situations and inconveniences for people travelling, especially if they catch the virus while on holiday here.
“During the second test on Day 5 or Day 6, many tourists are testing positive. Therefore, they have to be brought under the treatment process according to public health measures, either in ‘Hotel Quarantine’ or ‘High-Risk Contact’ quarantine. But during the quarantine period, the tourist visa period may be nearing its expiration and the tourists are unable to travel to extend the visa by themselves. Therefore, Phuket Immigration is proactive in providing visa extension services, which is convenient for tourists by coordinating with accommodation operators where tourists have been detained for a period of one week.”
He said that the new hotel visit initiative from immigration will help tourists staying in over 200 properties on the island make sure that their visas are in good standing. He also observed that it was a good chance for officials to answer any questions and explain Covid-19 safety measures, something authorities were out in force in tourist hotspots doing over the past two nights.
SOURCE: The Phuket News
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