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Phuket officials in last-minute scramble to fix sandbox hiccups


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The president of the Phuket Tourist Association says clarity is needed around a number of issues if the island’s July 1 re-opening is to proceed smoothly. According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Bhummikitti Ruktaengam says confusion over tracking apps and vaccine certificates are just 2 of the issues that need to be sorted out. The sandbox scheme was approved by Cabinet earlier this week and is now expected to be published in the Royal Gazette by Saturday. But with less than a week to go, confusion still reigns over a number of issues. One of those is vaccine […]

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If you test positive with the 2nd or 3rd test it might be several hours until the hotel manager sees you again. That is unless they require you to stay in your room waiting or the results…

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7 minutes ago, Thaiger said:

The president of the Phuket Tourist Association says clarity is needed around a number of issues if the island’s July 1 re-opening is to proceed smoothly. According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Bhummikitti Ruktaengam says confusion over tracking apps and vaccine certificates are just 2 of the issues that need to be sorted out. The sandbox scheme was approved by Cabinet earlier this week and is now expected to be published in the Royal Gazette by Saturday. But with less than a week to go, confusion still reigns over a number of issues. One of those is vaccine […]

The post Phuket officials in last-minute scramble to fix sandbox hiccups appeared first on Thaiger News.

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As I have said in another Post, this whole statregy of getting the Phuket sandbox opening 'correct' is the wrong strategy completely.  Thailand should be focussed on opening all 'tourist' Provinces on 1st October, with the Phuket sandbox opening being a test run that is going to have problems and hiccups. But the Phuket and TAT authorities have jumped full steam ahead and they should not have been allowed to do that.  Trying to advertise it as all perfect and all good was a stupid thing to do, but portraying it to prospective tourists as 'perfect and ready' is insane.  Typical Thai mentality I am afraid - overly long on optimism and extremely short on planning.  The big question I have is will 'they' learn the lesson?  That being to hope for the best, BUT to plan for both the best and the worst.  NOT hope for the best and then only plan for the best.  Certainly us Expats have a mentality that overly plans and critics things too much at times and we expect that of our Governments. The Thais have a saying : "How many Farangs does it take to fix something? Only one. And all that one has to do, is to complain".   

 

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Just out of intrest, does anyone know the exact numbers of 'fully vaccinated ' of the population of phuket? they seem to be very quiet about this still

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6 minutes ago, Malc-Thai said:

Just out of intrest, does anyone know the exact numbers of 'fully vaccinated ' of the population of phuket? they seem to be very quiet about this still

No. And like many official Govt numbers in Thailand - they will be 'massaged' by organisations until they are 'correct'. But if you are asking if 70% have been vaccinated yet (2 doses) in Phuket - the answer is no.  When that occurs I can assure you that it will be made very official by the main Thai Govt.  Meanwhile anything coming out of Phuket Administration or TAT should be taken with a grain of salt. 

For those unaware TAT (Thailand Tourism Authority) is not like any Tourism Authority in the West (or the real world). TAT is nothing more than a Thai Govt PR exercise to pump up tourism to Thailand. TAT routinely make false statements and ludicrous claims - and anything negative is 'buried' - they are nothing but a marketing organisation, and their statements are best seen in that light.  The Phuket Administration are extremely keen to also pump up tourism, but if things go very wrong the Governor will take action to shut things down and impose curfews if required. If that happens TAT will meanwhile still release pre-prepared statements for a day or two about how successful things are going, and make ludicrous claims about the numbers of tourists coming over the next 3-6-12 months.  I have seen it happen so many times since Covid started - as the locals say - This Is Thailand.

  

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1 hour ago, Thaiger said:

According to the Bangkok Post report, if someone tests positive, a specially trained hotel manager will be responsible for transferring the tourist to hospital. Tourists who test positive after landing at the airport will have their hotel booking fully refunded and will be taken to alternative local quarantine.

Not a great deal of consistency or logic there. 

Those testing positive on arrival are taken to an ALSQ hotel, and get a refund.

Those testing positive during their initial 14 day stay are taken to hospital (and presumably also get a refund?).

Those testing positive after their initial 14 day stay are (presumably?) taken to a field hospital like anyone else unless symptomatic.

Meanwhile those arriving on domestic flights are also taken to a field hospital, unless symptomatic.

Bizarre.

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The original report in the Bangkok Post also contained this little gem:

"Guests flying to the island hoping to rejoin friends or loved ones may be disappointed as the sandbox does not allow inbound guests to share a room with domestic guests, he said.

"There is much debate about this question. The health authorities are strongly opposed to the idea of letting visitors and local residents stay together in the same hotel room in the sandbox area as health remains a vital concern," Mr Bhummikitti said."

So anyone hoping to fly their g/f or b/f down from Chiang Mai to join them will be disappointed, particularly as they won't even have the option of getting another room somewhere else - as will anyone wanting to take a "guest" to their room overnight, or even for the occasional few minutes.

 

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1 hour ago, AussieBob said:

As I have said in another Post, this whole statregy of getting the Phuket sandbox opening 'correct' is the wrong strategy completely.  Thailand should be focussed on opening all 'tourist' Provinces on 1st October, with the Phuket sandbox opening being a test run that is going to have problems and hiccups. But the Phuket and TAT authorities have jumped full steam ahead and they should not have been allowed to do that.  Trying to advertise it as all perfect and all good was a stupid thing to do, but portraying it to prospective tourists as 'perfect and ready' is insane.  Typical Thai mentality I am afraid - overly long on optimism and extremely short on planning.  The big question I have is will 'they' learn the lesson?  That being to hope for the best, BUT to plan for both the best and the worst.  NOT hope for the best and then only plan for the best.  Certainly us Expats have a mentality that overly plans and critics things too much at times and we expect that of our Governments. The Thais have a saying : "How many Farangs does it take to fix something? Only one. And all that one has to do, is to complain".   

Imagine coming on holiday but it feels more like a concentration camp..

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1 hour ago, AussieBob said:

The Thais have a saying : "How many Farangs does it take to fix something? Only one. And all that one has to do, is to complain".   

I've never heard that one, but I've only been here nearly thirty years.

It reminds me of the  joke I was told just prior to the first Gulf War (by an Arab whose Army I was in at the time, so not racist per se), who asked me what a Kuwaiti would say if asked whether making love to his wife was a duty or a pleasure;  after a great deal of thought he replied "it must be a pleasure, otherwise I'd pay a Pakistani to do it".

Probably not PC now, but then .....

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59 minutes ago, Malc-Thai said:

Just out of intrest, does anyone know the exact numbers of 'fully vaccinated ' of the population of phuket? they seem to be very quiet about this still

I am pretty sure that by the close of play on 30June the figures submitted will read '70% vaccinated'. Statistics are always 'massaged'. Locals could have their first jab on midnight of 30 June and it still counts despite it being completely ineffective for several days.

By hook or by crook, Phuket will open on July 1 ( a little PM told me so)

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“Any mistake in this process will leave a big loophole as Phuket is the first destination to re-open. We have to find a way to effectively authenticate certificates originating from a different system.”

Reauthenticate an internationally recognized certificate... sounds like a money spent on a lampposts. Just open an app and scan a QR code.

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39 minutes ago, Stonker said:

The original report in the Bangkok Post also contained this little gem:

The health authorities are strongly opposed to the idea of letting visitors and local residents stay together in the same hotel room 

What!?! Screw that (pun intended), this plan is DOA. 

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21 minutes ago, EdwardV said:

What!?! Screw that (pun intended), this plan is DOA. 

I'm close to thinking that some of it's deliberately engineered so that the plan's unworkable / ineffective and is just playing for time.

lot of time ...

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health authorities are not able to control people in covid clusters in Bangkok,

easier to control all tourists, they cannot disappear to other provinces

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5 minutes ago, satpete said:

health authorities are not able to control people in covid clusters in Bangkok,

 

 

And because of that, Bangkok has begun selective lockdowns. As of today various portions of the city are going into one month lockdowns. They are trying to get control of an out of control outbreak, but at the same time don't want to lock down the entire city. They are afraid of what happen last time when everyone went back home to other parts of the country risking the virus spreading even wider. Only this time if they go home, they will likely take the Delta variant with them. Hopefully then get it under control, but it sure feels much worse this time around. 

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3 hours ago, kmc said:

Sono abbastanza sicuro che il piano sandbox non funzionerà (a meno che, ovviamente, l'obiettivo non sia convincere i potenziali turisti a non venire).

in fact they are succeeding.  Who is so crazy who resides in areas with low or medium risk of coming to Thailand declared themselves a high risk COVID area

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14 hours ago, Thaiger said:

 

I know there is a lot of negativity with the sandbox model. Just remember this before you criticize it, of all SEA countries Thailand is the only one taking some steps towards reopening, there is no benchmark on how to really go about doing this. Yes July won't be a buzzing month for the island but it's a start. Mistakes will be made, course correction on will happen. It may take a few months but let's give credit where it's due for the efforts being put in. 

 

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14 hours ago, Thaiger said:

Bhummikitti says European countries are using digital certificates, while places like South Korea and Singapore use blockchain technology to manage vaccination records. In New York, vaccinated people are issued with e-certificates. The PTA president says it’s essential to have a system that can authenticate all types of certificates

Isn't that what the local embassies are doing when they are issuing the COEs?

Why they need to reinvent the wheel every step of the way is beyond me.

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8 hours ago, Rogerdat said:

I know there is a lot of negativity with the sandbox model. Just remember this before you criticize it, of all SEA countries Thailand is the only one taking some steps towards reopening, there is no benchmark on how to really go about doing this. Yes July won't be a buzzing month for the island but it's a start. Mistakes will be made, course correction on will happen. It may take a few months but let's give credit where it's due for the efforts being put in. 

Fair, even-handed comment, especially given the sandbox negativity that you mention. I do question your impartiality in giving yourself a 'like', though!

 

Hello, Rogerdat and welcome to Thaiger Talk

Please feel free to tell us a bit about yourself in 'Introductions'. It's good to pick-up on those sometimes differing regional or geographical perspectives.

And check-out the Guidelines, too, when you get a free minute. They're there to help us all enjoy our time here.

Happy posting

King Cotton

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Roger dat if you are going to open up you might as well do it the proper way, rules like having to stay on the island for 14 days are totally unnecessary and unnecessarily screw up the whole project. 

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