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Tourism authorities expect 600,000 tourists from Phuket Sandbox

Tourism authorities expect 600,000 tourists from Phuket Sandbox

PHUKET: The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) are expecting the Phuket Tourism Sandbox reopening planned for July 1 to attract more than 600,000 foreign and local tourists to Phuket and generate a cash flow of about B15 billion in the next three months.

By The Phuket News

Sunday 20 June 2021, 06:57PM

Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew said the TAT predicted about 129,000 foreign tourist arrivals and 500,000 Thais will visit Phuket between July and September, said a report by state news agency NNT.

“From July 1, Phuket will waive quarantine requirements for foreign tourists who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 under the ‘Phuket Tourism Sandbox’ model. The main goal is to be able to revive the local economy and prevent the spread of the pandemic at the same time. The model is being touted as a model for the reopening of the tourism industry,” said the report.

“Governor Narong added that all parties are speeding up preparations to ensure the reopening proceeds smoothly as planned, stressing that strict disease control measures must remain in place so that the province would not be put in a lockdown again,” the report continued.

According to a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket), Governor Narong yesterday also repeated the main criteria for foreign tourists to be allowed into Phuket.

According to the PR Phuket report, joining Governor Narong for the announcement were Phuket Vice Governors Pichet Panapong and Piyapong Choowong.

The report marked nine criteria for accepting foreign tourists, all of which Governor Narong already announced on Friday, and have been reported previously, and have already been reported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), which now appears to be the designated agency for announcing the entry criteria for foreign tourists in English. (See the full list here.)


While officials yesterday were focussing on the entry requirements for foreign tourists after July 1, not explained was how a student had returned home to Phuket from Yala, where he attended a school that had shut down due to a COVID cluster outbreak.

With the TAT now expecting 500,000 domestic tourists to come to Phuket from July through September, the checks on domestic arrivals entering the province becomes increasingly important

Under a provincial order issued on June 1, revising the longstanding requirements for domestic arrivals, all domestic travellers with the exception of children under 5 years old entering through any port of entry on Phuket must be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Royal Thai Government or have documentation proving they have tested negative for the virus via a RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen Test no more than seven days before departing the province where the domestic traveller started their journey to Phuket.

Those who had recovered from COVID-19 no more than 90 days before arriving are also allowed to enter Phuket.

If the above requirements cannot be met the travellers are required to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days. Where the Disease Control Officer has issued an order to quarantine in the accommodation (Home Quarantine for Phuket residents or Hotel Quarantine for Domestic visitors) the traveller is to be monitored by officers of the Sub-District Center (EOC, Sub-District, municipality, sub-district administrative organisation) throughout the period of quarantine, said the order.

According to the timeline of the student’s movements released by Phuket health officials on Friday, the student had returned from Yala on June 13, but then presented himself at Thalang Hospital the next day for a rapid antigen test for no apparent reason.

According to the timeline of Case 689, the 19-year-old student who lives with his family in Tambon Thepkrasattri in Phuket, received his first vaccination injection on May 22.

From May 23-26, he stayed at home in Tambon Thepkrasattri. On May 27, he travelled to Tahfisul Quran Margkas Yala School in Yala Province, staying one night in Hat Yai en route.

From May 28-June 12, the the student attended classes at Tahfisul Quran Margkas Yala School in Yala Province, said teh timeline, but noting that the school was closed on June 10 after students were confirmed COVID positive.

On June 13, the student travelled back to Phuket. He sat next to the driver. Also in the van were four fellow students, of whom three exited the van in Krabi and one exited the van in Phang Nga.

The student stayed at a house in Thepkrasattri organised by the student’s father. The accommodation was separate from the student’s family home, the timeline reported.

On June 14, the student went to Thalang Hospital for a rapid antigen test, but no rapid tests were available, so he returned home, the report said. The student did not give a reason why he wanted a test, the timeline added.

That same day the student started feeling unwell, with headaches and aches and pains, and learned that his friend who was travelling in the same van as him but who exited the van in Phang Nga had now been confirmed COVID positive in Phang Nga.The father came to stay with the student at the home, but stayed in a separate room, the timeline said.

The next day, June 15, the student went back to Thalang Hospital and told medical staff that he had had close contact with people who had been confirmed as COVID positive. He was given a rapid antigen test, and tested positive, hence medical staff took a swab sample for an RT-PCR test.

On June 16, staff at the hospital confirmed the student was COVID positive, said the timeline, which was released three days later.

Of note, also on Friday, Phuket health officials issued an alert calling for all people who may have had contact with the student to present themselves at the nearest hospital for testing.

The notice was marked, “Urgent!!’

People were advised to call 094-5855321 for more information.

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Kurt | 22 June 2021 - 02:22:26

The venom is in the tale. Student didn't give reason why wanted a test. Yes-yes, cheap charlie way to say it's all students fault. Hospital staff not trained to ask such question? I not understand why passengers vans are allowed to drive from 'red' Yala to Phuket with passengers not tested before departing Yala. Health officials should check why Thalang hospital had no tests availa...

Christy Sweet | 21 June 2021 - 15:48:40

Over 60 or immune compromised  only  I'm informed by US Embassy. Given a choice I'll take the old reliable technology SinoVac than the M-rna AZ manufactured in Thailand. 

maverick | 21 June 2021 - 14:23:07

Vaccinations for non work permit farangs start nest Monday AZ jab, Phuket Must Win site - booked for 9am - maybe folks will stop the moaning now :-) not surprisingly none of the media outlets are covering this - still looking for an angle 

Dave_C | 21 June 2021 - 14:15:30

First on 28th June (not 18)

Dave_C | 21 June 2021 - 14:12:36

AZ jabs - Confirmed appointments
Jungcelyon Shoppimg Centre
18 June 2021 @1200
18 September 2021 @ 1200

Has just happened .
(Could not get confirmation Chrome or Edge but did get on DuckDuck Go browser)

Dave_C | 21 June 2021 - 11:36:34

Totally agree Kurt. The hospital could have been more proactive.
My push has always for consistency in what they say and do. If they are not going to vaccinate us as it now appears, at least have some control at the bridge.
Makes the airport drill a bit of a farce.

Kurt | 21 June 2021 - 11:01:36

Part of comment of 10:04 hrs did fall away.  Comment is if students can travel unchecked in a VAN from a Red province to Phuket without testing, do shows of Covid-19 drills they do have any use by this way of handling domestic traveling? Health Officials should check out why a hospital had no tests available for this student, and/or not send him to another hospital.

Christy Sweet | 21 June 2021 - 10:58:11

Look at who's invested in  testing supplies and vaccine manufacturers because they want Covid to stay- and stay it will under these conditions.  

Kurt | 21 June 2021 - 10:30:20

The 'danger' of this Phuket Officialdom crystal ball number prognose is that if it not becomes reality the Phuket Government close down again Phuket just for sake of loose face prevention. 'We' are already so used to their flip-flopping in matters.

jim98040 | 21 June 2021 - 10:21:12

The sad part of this 600k projection is that local people are spending money in anticipation of something that won’t happen. 

Kurt | 21 June 2021 - 10:04:42

travel/test drills have any use by this way of handling domestic traveling.

Dave_C | 21 June 2021 - 06:58:25

This is the message I believe most ,if not all, non working expats have now received  from

== Fully Booked
== == Full All Rounds or Unotho opening foreign rounds ==

Unotho ????

zachary | 20 June 2021 - 23:53:27

It's just ridiculous to believe that 25% of a normal tourist year will come and visit under this condition, with all the uncertainty, no Chinese tourists, basically no Asian tourists, and just shows one more time how bad and unbelievable delusional the government is.
No one will come until there is low to close to zero requirements, regulation what so ever in terms of testing vaccine etc. 

jim98040 | 20 June 2021 - 21:23:12

Similar article in Bangkok Post with 199 comments. The comments are a good read.

PJ | 20 June 2021 - 19:52:06

This case illustrates the ease with which cases can slip thru Thailand’s net.  Either like this one ,or internationally perhaps by vaccinated people becoming infected after their pre-travel test but not then testing positive until a few days after arrival.  If a Delta case slips thru this way, entire hotels will need to be quarantined.  Is it worth the risk?  We’ll know soon enough

Christy Sweet | 20 June 2021 - 19:30:07

Yes, it's the mile wide cracks that will have Phuket closing down again and Thailand  put on  travel restricted lists.  What is with this culture and not  being able to plan? Oh yeah,  year round food sources means it never had to. Please put the Chinese in charge.  

Fascinated | 20 June 2021 - 19:05:22

Maybe someone should point them to the nearest dictionary and look up the word 'delusional. I am willing to bet less than 1000 over the 3 month period, if that.


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