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Confidence low in Phuket as sandbox hopes marred by rules and restrictions


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As Phuket prepares for its July 1 re-opening to vaccinated holidaymakers, tourism operators on the southern island aren’t quite jumping up and down with excitement. The much-discussed sandbox scheme comes with some tough rules and restrictions that some fear will put people off visiting. Top of the list is the requirement to stay on the island for a minimum of 14 days, increased from the previously-mandated 7 days, before being able to visit the rest of Thailand (although you can have a shorter trip to Phuket but would have to depart from Phuket Airport). According to a Bangkok Post report, […]

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Two weeks ago I changed my flight arrival from BKK airport to Phuket based on the 7 days. I'm not a tourist just a husband wanting to see his wife. Based on the move to 14 days, I'm back flying into BKK on the 2 July to spend time in a ASQ Hotel in Pattaya for 14 days despite being vaccinated twice, COE etc all in place. Main reason...likely cases will increase in Thailand, which makes the risk of flying out of Phuket on a domestic airline more risky as news rules may be introduced ie leaving Phuket into BKK ... maybe additional quarantine, other reason is costs just mount up each time you plan and then have to reschedule the trips. This is not a sympathy comment but one of reality. Best thing for Phuket Sandbox is revert back to the 7 days - more 'non tourists' in similar 'tee lak' situations will arrive for sure.

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Hi, Grmgunn and welcome to T-T!

Whilst not seeking sympathy, you're bound to get plenty of it in your seemingly mission impossible situation.

Talk about trying to play a game when they keep shifting the goalposts, this Phuket Sandbox 'thing' - for want of a better term - has to be the perfect example of that. The world knows that TAT and the Phuket authorities are anxious to get traffic moving again but, as you suggest, there are probably more logical, realistic ways of approaching that goal.

Best wishes for your plans, anyway.

King Cotton

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