11 July 2024

Three more foreign tourists, who arrived on Thailand’s resort island of Phuket under its “sandbox” scheme, have been infected with COVID-19, according to local health authorities.

Phuket’s provincial health office reported yesterday (Sunday) that the newly infected tourists came from Myanmar, South Africa and Switzerland.

The infected Myanmar tourist is the mother of two previously infected children, aged 8 and 9, who tested positive on Sunday, while two other tourists tested positive during a second swab test after staying on Phuket. All of them have been sent to hospitals for treatment.

About 4,000 foreign tourists arrived in Phuket between July 1st and 10th. Six of them have been found to be infected with COVID-19. The first travelled from the United Arab Emirates and tested positive on arrival at Phuket International Airport last Wednesday.

Phuket authorities had already decided to tighten travel restrictions on people arriving from the 10 “maximum controlled and restricted” and the 24 “maximum controlled” zone provinces, from last Thursday until the end of the month, to control the spread of COVID-19.

Provinces under maximum control and restriction, also known as the “Dark Red Zone”, include Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathum, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Pattani, Yala, Songkhla, and Narathiwat.

The provinces in the “Red Zone” are Krabi, Kanchanaburi, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Chainat, Tak, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Prachin Buri, Ayutthaya, Phetchaburi, Ranong, Rayong, Ratchaburi, Lopburi, Samut Songkhram, Saraburi, Singburi, Suphan Buri, Ang Thong, and Uthai Thani.

Under the new restrictions, everyone arriving on Phuket from those zones are required to be fully inoculated, or have had one dose of AstraZeneca vaccine administered, at least 14 days before their arrival by land, sea or air. They must also have undergone a RT-PCR or rapid antigen test not more than seven days before their arrival.

Phuket has been open to certain foreign arrivals, who are fully inoculated, since July 1st under the “sandbox” scheme. They are required to stay on the island for 14 days before being allowed to travel to other parts of Thailand.