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UK residents cancel reservations, flee Phuket, following Thailand’s inclusion on the “red list”



PHOTO: fr0gchef/Flickr

Phuket hotels are reporting a rise in cancellations from England, as well as current guests checking out early to eschew expense self-quarantining when they go back to the U.K. Last week, the country famous for James Bond and Jack the Ripper announced its plans to move Thailand from its amber list to its red list, starting tomorrow. The move is because of Thailand’s high Covid risk. The red list of countries represents countries the U.K. says people should not travel to. If people do travel to a red-listed country, they must follow strict rules before entering the U.K., such as booking a hotel quarantine package.

Thailand’s inclusion on the red list has led to Phuket hotels reporting a substantial number of cancellations from U.K. customers, says Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, the president of the Thai Hotels Association. Guests who now must consider the prospect of quarantining also rushed to leave their Phuket accommodations.

“Some of them had just arrived a few days ago but have to prepare to leave as the price for quarantine facilities in the UK is too expensive. They said it would cost them around £2,200 (98,000 baht) for a 10-day package,” adds Marisa. She went on to say the predicament is a setback for the Phuket Sandbox and that risk of contracting Covid in Phuket, and nearby destinations is pretty low compared to other parts of the country.

Marisa says the THA wants authorities to spread the word to the international community that Covid is well under control in most of Southern Thailand. She says the Sandbox scheme has been a crucial first step toward a successful reopening of the country. Worapol Ungtrakul, assistant managing director at Sunset Beach Resort and Oceanfront Beach Resort and Spa, says many bookings have requested a full refund because the guests were uncertain about the present Covid situation.

The news has also made some British ex-pats reluctant to return to England even for a visit. Oliver Brueton, a teacher who has lived in Thailand and Southeast Asia for several years says the news that Britain has added Thailand to the red list has made him uneasy about going back to the U.K. because he enjoys a good quality of life here and the restriction makes it almost impossible to bring his long term girlfriend home with him.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.

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