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Sandbox tourists stuck in quarantine ask to go home

Sandbox tourists stuck in quarantine ask to go home

PHUKET: Twelve tourists now stuck in “alternative local quarantine” (ALQ) in Phuket after one person who arrived on the same flight to the island tested positive for COVID-19 have asked to fly home.

By The Phuket News

Friday 9 July 2021, 11:51AM

Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) Chief Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon confirmed the news yesterday (July 8).

Dr Kusak explained that the 12 tourists who have asked to fly home were among the 14 people who arrived on Emirates flight EK378, which landed in Phuket on Tuesday (July 6). 

On the same flight was one man from the United Arab Emirates who tested positive for COVID-19 after landing at Phuket International Airport.

As is now standard procedure under the Phuket Sandbox model, once the man tested positive for COVID-19, he was taken into care at a local quarantine venue, while all people deemed to be high-risk contacts were taken to ALQ venues.

According to the terms of entering Thailand under the Phuket Sandbox policy, tourists are responsible for all costs related to any COVID measures.

As such, Dr Kusak yesterday confirmed that 12 tourists now in ALQ “have informed their intention to return to their countries”.

“At this stage about 20 people, including foreign arrivals under the Phuket Sandbox scheme, hotel staff and taxi drivers, have been been taken to quarantine venues and gone through the testing process,” Dr Kusak said.

“The 20 people tested negative in the first test, and we will test them again six days after this,” he added.

“Do not panic because our medical staff have tested at-risk people. Please trust our disease control measures and follow them,” he said. 


According to the ‘Phuket Sandbox Daily Report’ for yesterday (July 8), issued earlier this morning, 125 more arrivals landed in Phuket yesterday on two flights: one operated by Singapore Airlines and the other by Etihad Airways.

All 125 tested negative for COVID-19, said the report.

CBRE Phuket

The report also noted that a further 182 Phuket Sandbox arrivals had now tested negative following their second COVID test as past of the Sandbox conditions, bringing the total number of Sandbox arrivals passing their second COVID test to 475.

So far one Sandbox arrival has tested positive for COVID-19, the report noted.

In total, from July 1 to 8, 2,524 arrivals have entered Thailand under the Phuket sandbox scheme, said the report.

The report also marked that so far in total 143,025 room nights have been booked from July to September under the Sandbox scheme, as follows: 130,113 room nights in July; 11,623 in August; and 1,289 in September.

A further 1,094 room nights have been booked for Oct to Feb, the report added.


According to the PPHO daily report for yesterday (July 8), Phuket recorded seven new cases of infection. 

The new infections brought the total number of COVID infections recorded on the island since Apr 3 to 766.

Of those, 714 had been discharged from hospital care, while 54 remained under medical care and supervision.

Since Apr 3 Phuket has suffered seven deaths attributed to COVID-19.

The PPHO’s updated map showing the locations of infections across the island since Apr 3 reported as follows:

  • Wichit - 99 infections
  • Patong - 80
  • Phuket Town - 82
  • Rassada - 72
  • Kathu - 60
  • Chalong - 53
  • Rawai - 47
  • Cherng Talay - 45
  • Thepkrasattri - 38
  • Srisoonthorn - 38
  • Kamala - 33
  • Karon - 30
  • Koh Kaew - 27
  • Mai Khao - 13
  • Pa Khlok - 10
  • Sakhu - 9

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ematt | 11 July 2021 - 13:16:33

DrMokie - lucky for us!

drmokie | 11 July 2021 - 00:53:41

Typical screwed up, ignorant, Thai gov’t policies. Collective IQ of Thai gov’t officials is 3 above a head of lettuce. I’ll never step foot in Thailand again!

skorchio | 10 July 2021 - 18:41:09

What a mess - these people must be regretting this decision. I guess they didnt read the small print - if there is a covid positive result, the whole aircraft is in jail!! And they need to pay for that. I wonder are the tourists also being charged for the taxi drivers etc who are also in QT? What a mess

damond | 10 July 2021 - 13:50:38

The world has been living with covid for over a year! We know that it's fatal to those with pre existing condition(s). Thailand needs to stop treating like it's black magic or voodoo.  AND to stop blaming expats when we have seen time and time again that hotspots ONLY popup when it involves illegal migrants.  

Christy Sweet | 10 July 2021 - 13:48:36

Essentially the group  are being detained unlawfully- kidnapped even if they are to be held an additional six days. They have a negative test and are inoculated,  let them board a flight. 

damond | 10 July 2021 - 13:42:02

It's a disgrace!  Thai tourism will die off if we keep treating people like this.  The sandbox is already an ASQ.  They should not be shuffled from one ASQ to another ASQ, especially if they test negative.  

Kurt | 10 July 2021 - 12:29:25

Are international airlines requesting a PCR test for a flight from Phuket going back home countries?

Timothy | 10 July 2021 - 11:05:06

But, but, but, ematt said everything would be alright. He said trust the government experts because they know much more than us whining losers. 555.

Paulnou | 10 July 2021 - 10:38:40

How old were the supposed covid deaths,? Any comorbidities ? 

JohnC | 10 July 2021 - 09:10:50

Of course it was bound to happen. Not the first or the last who will want to go home....

Dick | 10 July 2021 - 08:03:23

That covid insurance also gives them absolutely NOTHING???!!!

Dick | 10 July 2021 - 07:30:32

Wonder why they are not allowed to fly back??  

Dave_C | 10 July 2021 - 00:12:28

This an abolute Trainwreck

You know how I have tried to hel.p Please contact n immigration (2nfd flloor)

KhunG | 09 July 2021 - 21:30:35

Come for the holiday, stay for the quarantine that you have to pay for yourself in addition to the hotel you made reservations (and probably paid for ahead of time) to stay in.

megamind | 09 July 2021 - 16:30:41

do not worry: all the bars, where in a crowded space no one wears a mask, have now become restaurants (see the BANK in Rawai) and therefore sooner or later a new wave of Covid will spread very quickly throughout the island and we will be all over again

treasurefish | 09 July 2021 - 15:24:30

Sandbox is a complete disaster of government well-intended proportions. Protect us from our prtotectors!

Xi_Virus | 09 July 2021 - 15:11:10

Sandbox tourists stuck in Xhan-o-xha's contaminated virus Mudbox !$#@

unblocktheplanet | 09 July 2021 - 12:59:56

Too early! This setback will definitely keep tourists out for the foreseeable future.

However, the Sandbox model is a great opportunity for Thais & expats to get home in comfort.

Sad to say, that doesn't revive the economy in any meaningful way.


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