Thailand has placed high hopes on the Phuket sandbox model that allows vaccinated foreign travellers to visit without quarantine. For travellers planning to stay for more than 3 weeks, the sandbox model remains a great alternative to quarantine.
Tourists who want to stay for only 1, 2 or 3 weeks should be aware that if things go wrong, they will spend their holiday in a hotel room under quarantine instead of at the beach.
Yesterday Phuket’s provincial health office chief Dr. Kusak Kukiatikoon announced that there have been three more covid-19 infections found among vaccinated tourists who arrived under the Phuket Sandbox program. Raising the total number of Covid-19 positive vaccinated tourists to six as of Monday.
Dr Kusak said the three new cases were a 45-year-old Myanmar national who arrived in a family of seven, a 28-year-old African who came with two friends, and a 13-year-old Swiss who arrived in a family.
People who had been in close contact with them have also been placed into 14 day quarantine.
Of the total 3,917 tourists who had arrived in Phuket from July 1-10, six of them had tested positive for Covid-19 – one from the United Arab Emirates, three from Myanmar, one from Africa and one from Switzerland, Dr Kukiat said.
Deputy Director-General of the Department of Information Natapanu Nopakun, said last month that if things worsened considerably with the Phuket Sandbox program, plans could be reconsidered or halted. Only if outbreaks increase rapidly in Phuket.
Some outcomes would be the possibility of implementing restrictions on activities and businesses that might be high-risk for Covid-19 infection spread. This scenario would be rough as bars and nightlife venues are currently fighting and petitioning the government to be allowed to reopen.
Natapanu said that this is a sort of doomsday contingency plan and hopes that Covid-19 infections are minor and can be handled and contained. He pointed out that Phuket is now ranked 28th in Thailand for provincial infections and is improving.
Source: The Thaiger, Bangkok Post