The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is warning Phuket Sandbox travellers to acknowledge the risk of quarantine measures upon arrival, in accordance with provincial rules.
The warning to Phuket Sandbox visitors comes after 13 tourists who just arrived in Phuket asked to return home after boarding the same inbound flight with a traveller who tested positive for Covid-19.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn told reporters that “all of the vaccinated tourists agreed to return home after the provincial health authority allowed them to depart since last night. We’re considering rewarding them with special privileges if they plan to revisit Thailand in the future.”
The Phuket sandbox scheme confirmed the first Covid-19 case from a vaccinated tourist from the UAE .
The patient was sent to the hospital for treatment, while 13 passengers on the same flight from Dubai were identified as a high-risk group and transferred to an alternative local quarantine facility.
Mr Yuthasak said travellers in the sandbox scheme already acknowledge the possibility of a 14-day quarantine if they are determined to be a high-risk group, according to the certificate of entry application process.
Phuket Sandbox Travellers offer Refunds
Phuket’s screening measures need to be strictly maintained to assure the highest level of health and safety on the island, he said. All travellers choosing to return should receive full refunds from hotels, including costs for Covid-19 tests.
As of Thursday, the Phuket sandbox received 2,524 tourists, with one testing positive, while 475 guests passed a second test with a negative result. Hotel bookings from July to September increased to 143,025 room nights, he said.
Some 90% of bookings are in July (130,113 room nights), followed by August (11,623) and September (1,289).
Mr Yuthasak said the new lockdown announced for certain areas will not affect the Phuket sandbox as the province is excluded.
He said the lockdown could have a short-term effect on domestic tourism, but if these measures help curb the soaring infection rate over 14 days, the controls will have a positive effect in the long run, benefiting local tourism activities and stimulus measures.