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Deputy PM, ministers inspect airport readiness for Phuket Sandbox

Deputy PM, ministers inspect airport readiness for Phuket Sandbox

PHUKET: Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow and other top-ranking officials, including Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn, visited Phuket yesterday to inspect the readiness of the island to reopen to receiving vaccinated foreign tourists next Thursday (July 1) under the Phuket Sandbox model.

By The Phuket News

Friday 25 June 2021, 10:28AM

The inspection came ahead of the scheduled visit to Phuket by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha today (June 25).

Welcomed to Phuket by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, Mr Supattanapong arrived at Phuket airport at 4:20pm and proceeded on his tour of the terminal and his inspection of the procedures in place to allow foreign tourists onto the island.

Joining Mr Supattanapong for his inspection were Chatchai Promlert, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, and Thosaporn Sirisamphand, Secretary-​General of Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDB).

Following their inspection of the procedures for allowing tourists to enter Phuket via the airport, Deputy PM Supattanapong and his entourage visited the Phuket Check point at Tha Chatchai to inspect the capability of officers there to screen people entering Phuket by land.

According to an official report of the visit, Governor Narong said that, “At this stage, Phuket is ready for checking tourists and welcoming vaccinated tourists from abroad without quarantine.” 

“We have coordinated with administrative officers, police, soldiers who work at the airport and the checkpoint, as well as medical staff to work on testing,” Governor Narong said. 

“We all need to unite together to boost our economy and at the same time protect our people from the pandemic. Our people must be safe to create a good image of Thailand,” he added. 

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Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (PPAO, or OrBorJor) President Rewat Areerob said, “We all must thank the national government for its good support to open the island. 

“In Phuket, our government sector, private sector, and public sector have united to move forward and work our best on the opening plan to recover our province,” Mr Rewat said.

Following Deputy PM’s Supattanapong inspection, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn arrived at Phuket airport to meet with local officials as part of his own inspection of the airport’s readiness to allow forein tourists to enter Thailand via Phuket.

After the meeting, where he was joined by Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong and other senior Phuket officials, Mr Phiphat told the press that he was assigned by Prime Minister Prayut to conduct his own check of the readiness of Phuket to receive foreign tourists.

“At this stage, I confirm that Phuket is 100% ready to welcome tourists from July 1. What we are waiting for is just the first tourist walking out of the plane at the airport,” Mr Phiphat said.

“Regarding concerns about overpriced fares, taxi drivers at the airport must be registered with the Phuket Government first before providing services,” he said, according to an official report of his visit.

“The registration is to unlock the issue about taxi mafia,” he said.

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Kurt | 28 June 2021 - 09:48:43

Lets hope all these minister airport inspectors and their flock didn't bring asymptomatic the Alpha-, Beta-, or Delta Covid  virus to Phuket from the Covid boiling pot Bangkok during there 2 days unneeded 'inspection' visits.

ematt | 28 June 2021 - 08:38:26

Kurt mate, give that keyboard a rest....

Kurt | 27 June 2021 - 13:54:56

As Minister Phiphat acknowledged that the Thai Government has full knowledge of existence of Phuket 'Taxi Mafia', what has he and all other ministers during their 2 days Phuket visit done to tackle that? Just talks, Phiphat calls it 'unlocking' about it is useless. Action, including promises of prison time and high fines, are needed to clear that kind of Phuket piracy.

Kurt | 27 June 2021 - 13:11:42

Normally Thailand is center point of the world. But now it was Phuket for 2 days. The whole Government top brass went to Phuket just to check or airport staff and Sarasin Bridge check point doing their job after x numbers of rehearsals. Why the top brass run away 2 days from BKK, considering the very big Covid-19 job they have there to do in Greater BKK? 

Christy Sweet | 25 June 2021 - 15:58:38

Head in Sandbox is more like it- Delta spreading in Thailand with not one person on the island sufficiently inoculated against it. 

Espanol | 25 June 2021 - 14:26:26

Did they quarantine for 2 weeks?

DrAnalysis111 | 25 June 2021 - 12:44:19

No CoEs can be issues by Thai Embassies and Consulates, because their Web sites have not yet---6 days before the opening of Phuket--not yet been updated with the Cabinet approval of the Phuket Sandbox Program, because IT IS NOT YET PUBLISHED IN THE "ROYAL GAZETTE"...... 

DrAnalysis111 | 25 June 2021 - 12:29:07

The embassies and Consulates of civilized and eligible countries from which travelers may enter Phuket under the Phuket Sandbox Program have not been able to update their Web sites with contents of the Phuket Sandbox Program, because the Thai Military Cabinet decision has not yet been published in the "Royal Gazette". Therefore, no travelers can arrive as early as 7/1/21, since there are...

Kurt | 25 June 2021 - 11:27:48

It may be clear to minister Phiphat that as long the taxi/van/tuk tuk mafia rules the Phuket roads between Phuket airport and tourists destinations on island, that long Phuket airport is not ready. The number of prime minister, ministers and deputy ministers to inspect is a nice self kick show. I am sure they brought their own photographers.

Fascinated | 25 June 2021 - 10:59:22

We must be running out of dogs and ponies at this rate!


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