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Next 2 weeks in Phuket will decide the fate of other sandbox areas: Tourism Ministry


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Thailand’s Tourism Minister says the first 14 days of the Phuket sandbox will determine if other tourist destinations can re-open as planned from July 15. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn acknowledges there were some hiccups with the re-opening: some of the 500 tourists expected to arrive yesterday ended up postponing because of delays getting a Certificate of Entry. The Bangkok Post reports that according to Phiphat, this has now been resolved. Tourists landing in Phuket as part of the sandbox scheme need to have all their documents checked and be tested for Covid-19. Phiphat says this process shouldn’t take more than half an […]

The post Next 2 weeks in Phuket will decide the fate of other sandbox areas: Tourism Ministry appeared first on Thaiger News.

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5 minutes ago, 9S_ said:

There’s over 6000 cases today….seriously what is with their devotion to reopening for tourists??

this is called Wag the Dog bro

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If they are allowing Thais to come and go to Phuket if vaccinated then this sandbox is probably doomed. In Australia, the last 4 outbreaks have all come from 'leaks' in quarantine facilities, and there has been several cases of fully vaccinated workers getting covid (no symptoms) and then passing it on to others - a vaccinated nurse recently exposed over 300 people to the virus.  Being vaccinated does not mean you are immune - it means you will (likely) have far less medical problems - but you will still be able to catch it and then pass it on to others. 

If a Thai vaccinated person can travel to and from Thailand mainland (anywhere) which is a country where there is 5000+ new cases every day - and their own covid control authority is saying they are about to have a 4th wave of infections - then the sandbox will fail.   If they also do 3-4 tests of every Thai person entering Phuket then they have a chance, but if they are allowing them in with just a vaccination certificate, then this is probably going to go all wrong. 

 

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1 hour ago, 9S_ said:

There’s over 6000 cases today….seriously what is with their devotion to reopening for tourists??

Yeah I'm at a bit of a loss as well. For years, highly defensive expats and high ranking locals insisted that tourism wasn't a significant contributor to the overall GDP, and that the burdensome tourists could kindly stay away and things would prosper without them. shrugs

Edited by King Cotton
Deletion of meaningless text-talk symbols, as per Guideline 15
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The Sandbox is a start, not a good one, but a start none the less.

However I'm sad to say, that I agree with other contributors in respect of this article.

Given the daily increasing rate of infections in Bangkok, poor vaccination rate, non vaccinated tourist arriving on Etihad flight mixing with vaccinated people etc.

The Thai government themselves are  suggesting that they are entering a fourth wave, add into the mix they have previously stated that if 90 infections a week are reached, then they will pull the plug.

I would like to hope that this is not the case,  but I don't believe in mirricales, and a mirricale, is what is going to be needed for this to work.

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3 hours ago, AussieBob said:

If they are allowing Thais to come and go to Phuket if vaccinated then this sandbox is probably doomed

Allowing anyone to come and go, Thai or farang, either vaccinated or with a recent PCR test.

 

As it's 2,500 to 3,000 baht a test some who do so regularly may decide to get a cheaper version from Mr Photoshop for a couple of baht, though.

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I have obviously missed something, because I thought the Sandbox scheme was for vaccinated tourists and Thais/residents returning. How have unvaccinated passengers managed to fly to Phuket and ended up mixing with vaccinated people coming as part of the Sandbox scheme? Although Aussie Bob has a point regarding immunity/transmission in relation to vaccinated people anyway.

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4 hours ago, AussieBob said:  Being vaccinated does not mean you are immune - it means you will (likely) have far less medical problems - but you will still be able to catch it and then pass it on to others. 

 

Aussie Bob, your comments regarding vaccinated people still being able to pass it on is spot on. It is something many people have misunderstood and the media has hyped vaccines as if they made you immune. That’s simply not the case. Only last week a guy I work with who was fully vaccinated in May caught the virus and infected 6 others in the building before he developed mild symptoms and did a flow test. He is now 8 day in to a 14 day home isolation period.
 

If you want zero cases you have to lockdown hard. If you want to open up after lockdown and keep serious illness and death to low (not zero!) numbers, you need high percentages of vaccinated people.  Being infected is a shock to vaccinated people. I’ve heard many say “I’m ok I’ve been double jabbed”. Well you maybe (note maybe) ok from serious illness and death, and you have some level of protection against infection. But you are not immune. 

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Australia has started to get very serious - the PM and State Leaders met today. One of them said before the meeting:  'locking out those few who are outside the country, is better than locking down everyone inside'.  There has been 4 outbreaks all linked to quaratine places - including a vaccinated nurse who still caught the virus and exposed over 300 people.  The PM has outlined a four-stage plan to get Australia through the Covid crisis - the highly infectious Delta strain seeped into the community.

 

PHASE 1 – “Vaccinate, prepare and pilot.” Continue to suppress the virus and offer every Australian an opportunity to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Slash international arrivals by half, funnel them to the Howard Springs facility in Darwin. Trial the introduction of alternative quarantine options, including home quarantine for returning vaccinated travellers.

PHASE 2 – Once Australia reaches a threshold of vaccination to be determined by a “scientific number”. Ease restrictions on incoming and other measure. Lockdowns to be only used as a last resort.

PHASE 3 – The consolidation phase, to manage Covid like other infectious diseases. Lifting all restrictions on outbound travel for vaccinated people.

PHASE 4 – Back to normal. 

Looks like I will not be leaving Australia and visiting Phuket until Phase 3 - 2022 sometime?

 

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Who would want to be a Politician in these times, even less a PM or President? Politicians always have issues with straight answers to straight questions, which in these difficult times is exactly what is needed. Everyone knows that if you have zero cases, then a very hard lockdown of the country will keep it that way. For some countries such as New Zealand and Australia, that is an option due to its geography and their relative wealth and self sufficiency. For many countries, such as Thailand, it’s a totally different issue. With thousands of miles of land borders and it dependency on tourism, the equation is more complex. 
 

If the PM could tell the hard truth it would be along the lines of: We can either open up and try to save the economy and kill thousands (hands up who wants that?). Or we can stay locked down and have low Covid deaths but you will have no money for food even (hands up who wants that?).  Of course few would vote for either option and hence it is left to politicians to decide on Hobson’s choice. I don’t normally have too much sympathy for politicians; even less for those that stole the role from others, but on this occasion I have to ask who would want to be a politician in these times? 
 

It will get easier once China starts its payments of $Trillions by way of compensation to the world ;-)

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17 minutes ago, AussieBob said:

“scientific number”.

So,  that will be a politically agreed to scientific number, I assume.

I agree with those quotes, Bob.

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3 hours ago, Soidog said:

Who would want to be a Politician in these times, even less a PM or President? Politicians always have issues with straight answers to straight questions, which in these difficult times is exactly what is needed. Everyone knows that if you have zero cases, then a very hard lockdown of the country will keep it that way. For some countries such as New Zealand and Australia, that is an option due to its geography and their relative wealth and self sufficiency. For many countries, such as Thailand, it’s a totally different issue. With thousands of miles of land borders and it dependency on tourism, the equation is more complex. 
If the PM could tell the hard truth it would be along the lines of: We can either open up and try to save the economy and kill thousands (hands up who wants that?). Or we can stay locked down and have low Covid deaths but you will have no money for food even (hands up who wants that?).  Of course few would vote for either option and hence it is left to politicians to decide on Hobson’s choice. I don’t normally have too much sympathy for politicians; even less for those that stole the role from others, but on this occasion I have to ask who would want to be a politician in these times? 
It will get easier once China starts its payments of $Trillions by way of compensation to the world ;-)

Good points - they certainly stuffed it all up by allowing songkran travel and illegal workers into the country, but where do they go from here. AS you said - Hobsons choice (or Catch 22). Either way it is definitely FUBAR. Thais are just going to have to tough it out until vaccinations start to build the herd immunity and slow it all down. 

Can Thailand keep covid out of Phuket - I hope they can - but I am not betting on it.  Every other 'bubble' has failed, including HK/Singapore and Aust/NZ, good luck keeping it together for Phuket. 

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UK just got moved from medium risk to high risk,  So all the Bravehearts who were coming from UK and willing to face a quarantine back home just got bumped off the visitor list.

Wonder what happens to those who made their prepaid SHA+ hotel bookings, 3 prepaid PCRT bookings and flights and got their COEs.  Will they now get a refund?

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43 minutes ago, Brownie said:

UK just got moved from medium risk to high risk,  So all the Bravehearts who were coming from UK and willing to face a quarantine back home just got bumped off the visitor list.

Link?

Found it.
https://ddc.moph.go.th/uploads/ckeditor2//files/จัดกลุ่มประเทศตามความเสี่ยง กรมควบคุมโรค .pdf

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55 minutes ago, Brownie said:

UK just got moved from medium risk to high risk,  So all the Bravehearts who were coming from UK and willing to face a quarantine back home just got bumped off the visitor list.

Wonder what happens to those who made their prepaid SHA+ hotel bookings, 3 prepaid PCRT bookings and flights and got their COEs.  Will they now get a refund?

Yes, what a right fix they're in!

 

Hello, Brownie 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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On 7/2/2021 at 2:52 PM, Brownie said:

UK just got moved from medium risk to high risk,  So all the Bravehearts who were coming from UK and willing to face a quarantine back home just got bumped off the visitor list.

Wonder what happens to those who made their prepaid SHA+ hotel bookings, 3 prepaid PCRT bookings and flights and got their COEs.  Will they now get a refund?

As one of the "Bravehearts" in the UK wanting to come to Phuket I was a little troubled by this news but I have found a different story on the Thai Embassy web-site.

There are two lists, one of countries considered low, medium or high risk; and the other the countries permitted to enter the Phuket sandbox.  These lists are not quite the same.

Yes the UK seems to have been moved up to "high risk"; but there were already several high risk countries on the Phuket list (like Russia), considered high risk but nevertheless permitted because (as the embassy says): "It means these are countries that are considered high risk but because of tourists coming from that countries, they are allowed to obtain a COE under Phuket Sandbox."

So surprise surprise, there are two standards at play here and it seems that maybe the UK is still accepted in Phuket.

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