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Stranded and Broke Russian Tourists Take Refuge in Phuket Temple

After the flight was cancelled, they had no money left and decided to walk from the Phuket airport. When they saw the temple they asked to take refuge there.

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Russians Stranded Phuket International Airport Closure

Tourism authorities in Phuket are trying to help three stranded Russian tourists who have now taken shelter at a local temple. Their flight home from the Phuket Airport was cancelled because of the Covid-19 State of Emergency.

Local officials have been asked to contact the Russian embassy about the plight of the three Russians. They are presently sheltering at Wat Mai Khao, said Napasorn Kakai, director of the Phuket office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Alexsei Galiev, 31, Nikolai Sharov, 29, and Sofia Sharova, 24, said the airline they were booked on had had stopped flying from Phuket International Airport because of transport restrictions imposed by the Phuket Governor. The closure of the Airport was in an effort to control the coronavirus. Patong, Phuket is presently a hotspot for the Covid-19 Coronavirus in Thailand.

Governor ordered Phuket International Airport Shutdown

According to the Bangkok Post the Russian tourists were supposed to return to Russia on March 25.

After the flight was cancelled, they had no money left and decided to walk from the Phuket airport. When they saw the temple they asked to take refuge there.

The three slept inside a run-down building and converted a concrete platform into a makeshift kitchen. They have been living off cooked instant noodles donated by local residents.

They were also given mosquito nets to sleep under, according to the TAT officials and local police.

Winai Sae Iew, the Mai Khao village head, said provincial public health experts had visited the tourists and thermal scans showed none of them had a fever.

The Russians were also given face masks to wear while the authorities relocate them to proper accommodation.

Ms Napasorn said the TAT office estimated between 200 and 300 foreign tourists might be stranded in Phuket. This follows the Governors recent lockdown prompted by the spread of Covid-19 Coronavirus.

Many touristsleft with no place to go after their flights were cancelled. They also could not re-book flights home on other airlines.

She suggested that local administrative authorities and municipalities accommodate stranded tourists in schools which are now closed for the summer holiday.

 

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