A TOUR group visiting Phuket under the Thai island’s scheme for vaccinated travellers has been placed in 14-day quarantine after one of its members tested positive for Covid on arrival.
The tour party had landed at Phuket International Airport from the United Arab Emirates on July 5, five days into the re-opening of the island under the “Phuket Sandbox” model.
Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew said a swab test taken at the airport showed the man was infected with Covid-19. It emerged on Thursday, July 8, that the man had been “fully vaccinated with Sinopharm in October-November last year”, the Phuket provincial health chief Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon told a press conference
The UAE national was the first tourist found in Phuket with the virus since the island opened to vaccinated travellers on July 1, according to reports.
Health officials informed the manager of the hotel where the party was booked to stay once the test result proved positive and the man was told not to leave his room. He was taken to hospital the next day and the group was ordered to undergo a 14-day quarantine at the hotel.
As of yesterday, official figures show a total of 2,113 international travellers have arrived in Phuket under the scheme, which was launched to give a much needed boost to the island’s visitor economy.
The sandbox scheme requires vaccinated travellers to go through health screening on arrival and to download monitoring apps before staying at designated hotels. They must remain at the hotel for 24 hours as the test results are processed. The visitors can travel to other parts of Phuket if their tests are negative and can go to other parts of Thailand if they test negative after 14 days.
To qualify for the scheme, travellers must be from countries approved by Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration and must have a medical certificate showing a negative test result within 72 hours of embarking on their journey, a certificate of vaccination being given no less than 14 days before travel and insurance policies.
Visitors are also required to take three Covid tests – one on arrival, another a week later and again 14 days later.