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Phuket is “100% ready” for Special Tourist Visa flights – Transport Minister



The Phuket International Airport is ready for international tourists. The airport has been preparing for weeks and initially expected a group foreigners on the new Special Tourist Visa to arrive last month. Covid-19 mobile testing vehicles were even sent to the airport in early October, prepared to test all the tourists upon arrival, but the travel plans were cancelled last minute. Now, Phuket is “100% ready,” according to Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob.

“At this stage, Phuket International Airport is 100% ready for welcoming and testing tourists arriving on the STV (Special Tourist Visa). The lab and mobile lab trucks together can test 578 tourists per day.”

Last month’s plans to host a group of tourists travelling from China on the new long stay visa were cancelled last minute due to a misunderstanding with tourism officials. Supposedly, a list of those “interested” in the new visa was passed off as those who had already applied and were ready to travel.

While Phuket has prepared for international tourists, Sakayam says permission for travellers on the new visa to fly directly to Phuket has not yet been confirmed.

“We have to wait for the prime minister to inspect (the airport) first to ensure its readiness and to build confidence among people.”

So far, 17 hotels have also been approved as alternative state quarantine facilities and are ready for tourists.

“I was told that Phuket now has about 1,900 rooms in hotels to welcome tourists as alternative local quarantine venues, and the Phuket government is trying to reach 5,000 rooms within one month.”

SOURCE: Phuket News


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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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