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Phuket’s first travel bubble ‘villa quarantine’ tourists arrive

Phuket’s first travel bubble ‘villa quarantine’ tourists arrive

PHUKET: Phuket’s first ‘travel bubble’ tourists, who will be observing a ‘villa quarantine’ at the five-star Sri Panwa resort on the island’s east coast, landed at Phuket International Airport last night (Feb 21).

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 22 February 2021, 10:29AM

The tourists, 59 in total, arrived via Indonesia on two flights operated by Indonesian national airline Garuda Indonesia.

The first flight, with 13 of the tourists on board, landed at 8:20pm. The second flight, carrying 46 tourists, landed at about 11pm.

Present to welcome the tourists were Phuket Vice Governor Phichet Panaphong, joined by Patong Hospital Director Dr Muenphrae Boonlom, who is now the acting chief of the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO).

Also present were officers from the Disease Prevention and Control Region 11 Office, based in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, to oversee the swab testing procedure.

“When they entered the international terminal, we first checked their body temperature,” Vice Governor Phichet explained.

“We had immigration officers at 25 counters to check their documents. Then they walked to the Customs area to declare their belongings,” he added.

“After that they got in a van to be taken to the X-terminal building to have swab test samples taken there. They were tested by the disease control officers at the mobile COVID-19 test van parked in front of the building.

Dewa Phuket Resort

“The swab test process took less than one minute each. Then the tourists later were directly taken to Sri Panwa resort,” Vice Governor Phichet said.

“We had two police vans, one in front and one behind the tourist van, while the tourists were en route,” he added.

The arrival process went smoothly, Vice Governor Phichet noted.

“I have to thank all officers for their good cooperation to take care of the tourists and create an impressive image of Phuket as their good, safe host,” he added.

However, no explanations were given as to why only 59 tourists arrived as the ‘travel bubble’ last night.

Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced last Wednesday (Feb 17) that the total number of tourists arriving would total 70.

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Kurt | 23 February 2021 - 11:19:45

25 Immigration 'Fast Lanes' for about 50 tourists at Phuket airport.. Were the Fast Lanes free of the 100 thb charge? I also would love to have a police van to safe guard the taxi/van drive to/from Phuket airport. :-)

JohnC | 23 February 2021 - 09:46:59

[“We had immigration officers at 25 counters to check their documents.] In all the years I have been living here and travelling through Phuket airport I have never seen close to 25 officers at immigration counters ever, even in crowded usual high season.

Nasa12 | 23 February 2021 - 05:58:33

Thought this hotel went bankrupt a few weeks ago ? , so who runs this place now ?.

mgb | 22 February 2021 - 16:34:54

I arrived in Kl Friday.  quarantine will be done by Thursday. They count the 3 day from when you do your covid test in Phuket.  not like Thai fist day is not counted so it is 15 days at the moment.  Also covid hotels in Phuket are far more expensive that Bangkok- Why?

Dukkkman | 22 February 2021 - 13:58:54

Fantastic, Phuket has now been saved.
Open the shops, open the bars.
Salvation has arrived.

Kurt | 22 February 2021 - 12:55:00

Thinking about it: A V/G, Officials, came all the way from N-Si Thammarat, PPHO Officials, 25 Immigration Officers who served just 2 tourists each, 2 police vans etc, etc. What did this circus costs the society? And what will this small foreign tourist group contribute to Phuket economy. They cost 'us' more than they bring in. It is total Thai idiotry.

Capricornball | 22 February 2021 - 11:53:47

What a circus...jeez, you would think they were dealing with live cases of flaming ebola where the visitors were bleeding from the eye sockets.  Embarrassing, actually.  I'm thinking the entire planet has gone off it's rocker.

Kurt | 22 February 2021 - 11:39:53

What a show, all drama., incl a V/G. Never seen 25 Immigration desks occupied on Phuket airport. And 2 police vans all the way to that 'villa quarantine' ?  What a hysterical circus. Typical TIT.

Fascinated | 22 February 2021 - 10:47:21

What a stunt- I was never greeted by the vice Gov on arrival. 'Observe' more than 'follow' the rules is the most likely outcome. Nice photo op as well with 25 desks open for 46 people. This sums it up- 'I have to thank all officers for their good cooperation to take care of the tourists and create an impressive image of Phuket as their good, safe host'. Dog and pony show.


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