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Phuket travel bubbles may begin from Oct 1

Phuket travel bubbles may begin from Oct 1

PHUKET: Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakan has announced that travel bubble tours to Phuket may begin from Oct 1. 

By The Phuket News

Friday 21 August 2020, 04:27PM

Mr Phiphat revealed the news at the “SMEs New Normal” event held at Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok yesterday (Aug 20).

During his speech to attendees at the event, Mr Phiphat said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had approved Phuket travel bubbles to begin from Oct 1.

He added that he hoped to do the same in main tourism provinces in other regions.

Minister Phiphat explained that at the latest meeting of the newly formed "Center for Economic Situation Administration” on Wednesday (Aug 19), the committee unanimously agreed to open Phuket as the first destination in the travel bubble campaign and called the procedures to be set as the “Phuket Model”.

“I have been explaining for the past three months that we need foreign tourists to come to the country in September or October. I presented Oct 1 to be the first day to let foreigners come to Phuket, and the PM has already approved to do so.” Mr Phiphat said.

Minister Phiphat further explained that tourists arriving in travel bubbles will not be permitted to venture outside specified areas for at least 14 days.

“For example, on the well-known Patong Beach, there may be three or four good hotels located near each other. Tourists will be allowed to go to certain areas around the hotel, but not more than one kilometre, and they must stay in the area for 14 days.

“After the 14 days, if they want to go out of Phuket, they have to stay in the hotel for seven more days,” he said.

“Before coming to Thailand, they [tourists] have to be tested first, and they will be tested again on the last day of the 14-day quarantine. If they want to go out of Phuket, they will be tested again on the 21st day of quarantine,” he explained.

“Not only will the foreign tourists have to stay within the specified areas, but also hotel and restaurant staff [serving the foreign tourists]. If they leave the area, they will have to self-quarantine at their place for 14 days.” he added.

“The Prime Minister also asked me to research and choose six main provinces in each region to open up for travel bubbles, like Phuket. The main provinces may be Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ubon Ratchathani, Chonburi, Ratchaburi and Krabi,” Mr Phiphat explained.

“However, one very important thing is the acceptance and readiness of local people. We have to listen to the local people’s opinions first before doing anything,” he said.

Minister Phiphat together with officers from the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Interior will inspect Phuket on Sept 5-6 to check the island’s readiness, Mr Phiphat noted.

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jim98040 | 26 August 2020 - 02:55:20

If they are quarantined in Patong but can go to Bangla or Jungceylon, how is that a quarantine? A quarantine would be to stay at the hotel. If there is Covid transmission it is contained at the hotel. 

Kurt | 25 August 2020 - 08:25:36

Quarantine time in normal hotels doesn't work. Proven at several locations worldwide. Because,  1: the hotel staff was not medical trained ( takes weeks to do).  2: The people in quarantine were not consequently kept 14 days in their rooms.  Quarantine has to be done  in close guarded semi medical institutions.  Otherwise, forget about it.

drmokie | 24 August 2020 - 22:42:31

The 14-day quarantee is absolutely ridiculous! Hawaii tried this and it failed miserably. Round tip flight to Phuket cost around $1,000. What tourist would travel to a place where they were confined in a hotel 14 days and then allowed to roam. Only Chinese will come, who spend little in local stores and won’t stay in expensive  hotels. They rent large isolated “storage places” on sa 5

CaptainJack69 | 22 August 2020 - 11:55:21

The problem is that the tiny number of visitors that this MIGHT attract could never be enough to make any local business viable. Even street vendors would be better off staying at home. So this will only help the mega-shops catering to the (already effectively quarantined) zero baht Chinese tours. Nobody wants them back. It will only help the rich.

Kurt | 22 August 2020 - 09:33:00

@Galong, Yes, you are right. But Officials + cohorts, flying from BKK to Phuket, to 'see' things, they should experience the worst presentation of Phuket ( Bangla Rd) in order to analyse things straight. As far they are able.

Kurt | 22 August 2020 - 09:17:17

It is by now quite clear that Phuket wants to return to 'Old Normal'. Than keep Phuket potential virus free. All arrivals in Thailand should be quarantined in Bangkok. After 14 days clearance than they can travel to vulnerable Phuket.
It doesn't make sense to let potential Covid-19 tourist fly to Phuket and put them here in Covid-19 breeding hotels, with spreading risks ( through staf...

Kurt | 22 August 2020 - 08:34:01

Retirees are mostly 60+ people. The international medical figures show that it is the most Covid-19 vulnerable age group. I doubt or they will travel 12-20 hours to Thailand this year, and after arrival being contained /quarantined with dozens of other potential Covid-19 infectius tourists in special 'Covid-19 hotels'. Location were virus spreading happens easily. 

seanson | 22 August 2020 - 07:30:39

I can 100% say that the KUDOS beach club will be nominated just because we all know who the owner is!!!

Dave_C | 22 August 2020 - 06:49:41

LEGITIMATE test results within 3 days of boarding. 

plus regular testing of Airline/Airport staff.84845

plus quarantining at en-route airports. 

= end of restrictions  !!!

Galong | 21 August 2020 - 23:06:38

Patong is the worst representation of Phuket!  Of course you want to promote that area over the more culturally authentic areas with the people who deserve more help. This is sad.  Furthermore, who in their right mind would visit under these stipulations and be subjected to the whims of local (xenophobic) opinion? I sure wouldn't. 

DeKaaskopp | 21 August 2020 - 21:50:44

..being closed until there is a vaccine.Actually you give a damn about those who suffer now because you still have your pension.But keep in mind that all your favorite shops can't go on like this forever. Even the PN could go out of business and then you won't be able to post comments anymore.That would probably hurt you the most.

DeKaaskopp | 21 August 2020 - 21:44:46

"...than there are no holidays in countries of tourists anyway" What ? Kurt,since when are tourists only coming if there are ( school) holidays in their countries. Don't you know that there are many  retirees who stay in Thailand for 4//5 or 6 month ? Especially between November till April.Especially for this group it would be an alternative.But I know you would like to see Thailand ...

ThorFinger | 21 August 2020 - 20:54:21

I'm sick of this. Wake up! I'm housing thai people who have no money, no food and nowhere to stay and delivering food packages to people who haven't eaten in 3 days in some cases. 

ThorFinger | 21 August 2020 - 20:52:49

I know you're trying to do the right thing but you're not. Either open up and deal with covid like you should have instead of hiding, or close up and count the catastrophic results of what has and what will happen. 
I'm sick of this. Wake up!
I'm hosting thai people who have no money, no food and nowhere to stay and delivering food packages to people who haven't e...

ericphuket | 21 August 2020 - 19:06:43

Already serving the same dish for weeks now.
First the island is a ghost town 95% of tourist businesses are closed or abandoned.  The few who will agree this insane rules will not be able to enjoy the island. Phuket needs big amounts of tourists to revive and reopen the venues, not a few idealists otherwise its economically not rentable. 

Kurt | 21 August 2020 - 17:59:28

For quite while now one after another BKK Official + cohort is visiting Phuket. What is their secret? Drive around and see all over the island everything is closed. No one opens business based on filler talks.Tip for Officials: Go to Bangla Rd at midnight. Support/inspect  them over there with your visit for some drinks at entertainment locations. Have fun!

Kurt | 21 August 2020 - 17:50:46

They dream/fantasise a lot of regimental tourist rules together. I am sure by now they must know too no foreign tourists are coming on that bases. But it is safe to propose that 'knotting' for October, than there are no holidays in countries of tourists anyway. This whole thing is just filler.

LALALA | 21 August 2020 - 17:28:25

Also very interesting how they want to control the 1km areas... they will install fences with barbwire ? Do the tourists have to wear traceable ankle bracelets ?.... but hey, why worry, nobody will come anyway.

LALALA | 21 August 2020 - 16:34:33

This will be the same success like the 'we travel together' campaign, the NEW NORMAL...LOL


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