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  1. #1
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    PHUKET Location-tracking wristbands and punishments for escapees

    As the date of Phuket’s re-opening to vaccinated foreign tourists draws closer, officials are busy preparing all necessary measures prior to the influx. The “sandbox” scheme kicks off on July 1 and provincial officials have been rehearsing immigration and Covid-19 control measures at Phuket airport, the island’s ports, and the Tha Chat Chai checkpoint by the bridge onto the island.

    According to a Bangkok Post report, a number of strict measures are being put in place to ensure vaccinated tourists don’t spread Covid-19 to the local population and to prevent foreign arrivals from violating the rules of the sandbox scheme. As it is, all foreign tourists will be required to spend a mandatory 14-day period in a government-approved hotel before they can travel elsewhere in Thailand. The only exception are people who are only holidaying on Phuket, who may leave whenever they like but must take an international flight off the island.


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    PHUKETLocation-tracking wristbands and punishments for escapees: Phuket gets ready to welcome vaccinated touristsMaya TaylorPublished 23 hours ago on Wednesday, June 16, 2021By Maya Taylor
    PHOTO: Flickr/Universal Smartcards
    As the date of Phuket’s re-opening to vaccinated foreign tourists draws closer, officials are busy preparing all necessary measures prior to the influx. The “sandbox” scheme kicks off on July 1 and provincial officials have been rehearsing immigration and Covid-19 control measures at Phuket airport, the island’s ports, and the Tha Chat Chai checkpoint by the bridge onto the island.

    According to a Bangkok Post report, a number of strict measures are being put in place to ensure vaccinated tourists don’t spread Covid-19 to the local population and to prevent foreign arrivals from violating the rules of the sandbox scheme. As it is, all foreign tourists will be required to spend a mandatory 14-day period in a government-approved hotel before they can travel elsewhere in Thailand. The only exception are people who are only holidaying on Phuket, who may leave whenever they like but must take an international flight off the island.


    Tourists will also be required to download the Mor Chana tracking app and will be fitted with location-tracking wristbands, which will come in handy should they accidentally leave their phones at the hotel. Officials have confirmed that facial recognition cameras are being fitted to identify vaccinated tourists who try to travel to elsewhere in Thailand before their 14 days on Phuket are up. In addition, they are busy devising punishments not only for these tourists, but for anyone who tries to help them.

    The latest measures are in addition to several onerous requirements that vaccinated foreigners must meet before they can fly to Phuket. These include obtaining a certificate of entry from their local Thai embassy, proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding their flight, health insurance coverage of at least US$100,000, and proof of payment for a booking at a government-approved hotel. On arrival at Phuket airport, they will again be tested for Covid-19 (at their expense), before being transferred to their accommodation. Further PCR tests will follow on day 6 and day 13.

    According to the Bangkok Post report, deputy Phuket governor, Phichet Panaphong, is expecting to welcome 129,000 foreign tourists under the sandbox scheme and says it will generate around 11.4 billion baht for the island. Tourism operators are not holding their breath.

    SOURCE: Bangkok Post
    Shalom

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
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    I wondering how all this is going to be policed on the island, and the impact on the many thousands of Expats who live here who I guess are going to be stopped and questioned many times over the coming months.

  3. #3
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    With all the rules and restrictions i do not think there be very many tourists if any
    you go on holidays to relax and have a good time not to have big brother watching and checking on you all of the time

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat VocalNeal's Avatar
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    Why would tourists come? Surely most of the tourist related businesses have closed down. What are they going to do?
    What about international flights to/from Phuket? Where do they come from?

  5. #5
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    There will be a small number of people preferring this option to being banged up in a hotel in Bangkok for a fortnight.

    Nowhere near enough to justify all the hassle and hype, though.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    There will be a small number of people preferring this option to being banged up in a hotel in Bangkok for a fortnight.

    Nowhere near enough to justify all the hassle and hype, though.
    Indeed, essentially you can live like a local expat for 14 days rather than being confined to a Bangkok hotel room. I really can't see many others taking up the option other than those who have relationships or relations here. Remains to be seen what relaxation of other prohibitions will be made, notably alcohol available in restaurants. I can't see actual bars being allowed to re-open again before October, along with the rest of Thailand.

    On a brighter note, whilst expats on Phuket with work permits have been able to register for vaccinations (and most have already had), last night it was thrown open to all those expats registered as living here. No mention about cost, so assume that it's gratis. I would decline the Sinovac outright, though as I understand it, AstraZeneca is the one for over 60's (for which I qualify) so will go for that. My preference would be to wait for Pfizer or Moderna and indeed will probably get re-vaccinated at my own cost when they eventually become available. As the population at large becomes more and more vaccinated, I can foresee restrictions being introduced for those who are not. Already, I could not leave Phuket and re-enter without proof of vaccination or a less than 72 hours old test (unless having to do 10 days self isolation at home).


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