Phuket officials concerned over “Sandboxers” who test positive for Covid on arrival

Photo via Royal Thai Government

Out of the so-called “Sandboxers” who tested positive for Covid-19 since the Phuket reopening started on July 1, half of the infections were detected after the first test taken at the airport on arrival. The positive results conflict with the travellers’ negative results issued no more than 72 hours before departure, a requirement under the “Phuket Sandbox” model.

Noticing a trend, provincial authorities raised their concerns over the conflicting test results with both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Out of the 16 “Phuket Sandbox” travellers who tested positive for Covid-19 as of this weekend, 7 of them tested positive on arrival at the Phuket International Airport while another tested positive just 3 days after arrival.

Under the “Phuket Sandbox” reopening scheme, travellers from overseas who are vaccinated against Covid-19 can enter the island province without undergoing quarantine. Travellers must get tested no more than 72 hours before departure. They are generally tested upon arrival, then again a week after their arrival, and then a third time on day 12 or 13.

The director of Vachira Phuket Hospital, Chalermpong Sukhonthaphol said provincial authorities questioned the significant percentage of conflicting test results for travellers who had tested negative just before departure and then positive on arrival.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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