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UPDATE: TUI Nordic to continue services into Phuket

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"Sandbox" travellers arrive at Phuket International Airport (October 2021) | Photo courtesy of PR Phuket

UPDATE: Yesterday it was reported that Europe’s largest travel firm TUI Nordic announced it had cancelled scheduled chartered flights to Phuket from December to April next year. We’ve since been contacted by TUI Nordic to say that the information, originally published by The Nation, was incorrect.

A Phuket representative was quoted originally, but the Senior Product Manager of TUI Nordic, Pontus Svensson, says that TUI Nordic will continue services into Phuket, and also, because of the changes to the government’s Test and Go arrival program, happily reroute TUI passengers through Phuket, where the Sandbox Program is still accepting applications.

“Customers that have booked holidays outside of Phuket, will be contacted and offered to change their holiday to Phuket instead – and for the ones that had time to fill in Thailand Pass before the restrictions changed, their holiday remains unchanged.”

ORIGINAL STORY…

Following the cancellation of Thailand’s “Test & Go” tourist scheme amidst fear of an Omicron outbreak, the Europe’s largest travel firm TUI Nordic announced it had cancelled scheduled chartered flights to Phuket from December to April next year. Around 30,000 people had plans to travel to the island province.

The head of the Phuket Hotels Association (Kata and Karon), Angkhana Thaneswisetkul, said most visitors were hesitant to visit Thailand after Omicron cases piled up despite the New Year’s holidays, and that some EU nations are already instituting quarantine for returnees from countries with the new variant.

“The announcement came on December 25, a couple of days after the government suspended the Test & Go scheme, which allows registrants to enter Thailand without having to quarantine.”

At the same time, the acting president of the Chon Buri Federation of Tourism Industry, Thanes Supharasahasrangsee, is urging Thailand’s Tourism Authority to turn Pattaya, Koh Samet, and Hua Hin into “sandbox” destinations to keep tourism alive from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many small businesses began to reopen as the government declared a “Test & Go” scheme on November 1. Now they are likely to close down again and shut down permanently, according to Thanes.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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If you are fully vaccinated, and looking to travel to Phuket, you can enter by booking a 7 Day Sandbox Hotel package.

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