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“Sandbox” tourism scheme for foreign travellers in the works for Phuket

Tanutam Thawan



Stock photo by Mike Swigunski for Unsplash

Tourism officials are working on what they’re calling the “sandbox,” a new pilot program to reopen Phuket and other destinations by the Andaman Sea to foreign visitors. The sandbox is like the “travel bubble” idea and would allow quarantine-free travel to certain areas.

The sandbox model will be pitched to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration next Friday, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Rachakitprakarn says. But the scheme depends on how many people are vaccinated against Covid-19.

Prior to today’s announcement that the Thai government is delaying vaccinations with the AstraZeneca jab, Phiphat had said he expects the sandbox model to start in Phuket in July, but the majority of people living in the island province need to be vaccinated.

“About 70% of people in Phuket must be vaccinated, which means about 900,000 doses of vaccine are needed for 450,000 people.”

Recently, the government announced that the mandatory quarantine period for travellers vaccinated against the coronavirus will be reduced from 14 days to 7 days. Vaccinated foreign travellers arriving to Phuket will be swab tested and then enter check in to an “Area Local Quarantine” hotel, Phiphat says.

“At this stage, the Ministry of Public Health only allows tourists to remain in their rooms, but we will propose to the CCSA to allow tourists to go out of their rooms from Day 1 of their quarantine.”

A traveller must be tested for Covid-19 a second time before being released from quarantine. Those who have not been vaccinated must quarantine for 10 days. Phiphat says he’s still waiting on an official confirmation on the new quarantine measures.

SOURCE: Phuket News


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  1. Avatar


    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    Change name, call it smoke and mirrors.

  2. Avatar

    Roger Bruce

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    So vaccinated travelers still get 7 days quarantine and more tests

    Good Luck with that

    Travelers will go to other nice Asian countries
    Good Luck Thailand

  3. Avatar


    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    Its not going to happen!

  4. Avatar


    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 11:15 pm

    You can already go to Phuket with a 7 day quarantine. Therefore this plan must drop the quarantine or there would be no difference. Beside the fact this is low season so why the rush. The real question is how in the world do they expect to vaccinate 450K people just in Phuket by the end of June? Keeping in mind, they still have to keep vaccinating people in the rest of Thailand too. Another half azzed plan out of the boys in Phuket which wouldn’t create large numbers and has little chance of happening anyway.

  5. Avatar


    Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 4:54 am

    Monkey has to be vaccinated.

  6. Avatar

    Clive G

    Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    When they talk about testing, is it the PCR test or a lateral flow test? If it is the PCR test, I find it annoying that all countries don’t publish how many times they Multiply the sample that they take. 24 times is the maximum the inventor of the test maintains as being accurate, 35 times would be universally agreed by practically every scientist as a limit in terms of accuracy, yet many countries multiply the sample by a factor of 45, at which rate 9 out of 10 people testing positive do not have enough virus in them to infect anyone else. If I knew a country was multiplying it by the largest amount, I would avoid that country as it would be a lottery whether you tested positive or negative. Three quarantined German boys successfully sued for damages in Portugal. They kept testing positive due to the accuracy of the test, and the judge ruled the latter 97% inaccurate and gave them compensation.

  7. Avatar

    Martin Ågren

    Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 11:17 pm

    Still nothing how this applies to children.

  8. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, March 15, 2021 at 12:56 am

    The “inventor of the test” can’t “maintain” anything, Clive G, as he’s dead! ?

    … and as you keep on being told, Spanish and Portugese courts have never “ruled the test inaccurate”.

    That’s QAnon cr@p. The courts ruled the tests were illegal on which to base quarantine as they weren’t supervised by a registered doctor as Portugese and Spanish law requires.

    That’s all – nothing to do with the accuracy of the tests.

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