Phuket travel update, the island is ear-marked for re-opening after an absolutely disastrous Q1,Q2 & the better part of Q3. The latest news from Thailand Authority of Tourism and government is positive! Well…as positive as can be, given the circumstances.
Final plans are still to be thrashed out and it’s worth noting that Thailand as a whole, has no dates yet to open its doors fully. This plan is for Phuket only (code name; Safe & Sealed – yes, lots of thought went into that one).
However what we can tell you at this moment is that COVID free tourists from a short list of “low COVID number countries” will be allowed to travel to Phuket on the understanding and agreement of the following initial proof and restrictions of travel;
However, like all new ideas here, they are not yet set in stone and according to The Tiger Online edition; “No final decisions have been decided at this stage, on a date for commencement of tourism into Phuket, or anywhere else.”
What a great question and I like the way you’re thinking!
All I can tell you is that we don’t expect many “tour group Chinese”
Neither do we expect many people with normal employment, you know the 4 weeks annual leave workers. They would normally come to Phuket for 10-14 days and who is going to spend all that time and money just to stay in quarantine (you think specialist quarantining with specialist staff is going to be cheap?). These include the now popular “young Russian families” who were very prevalent last year and a great indicator of returning tourists. No short stay or long weekend tourists from the ASEAN countries like Singapore, Hong Kong or Malaysia etc. The 14 days quarantine rule applies to them too.
Australians? Forget it, they’re not allowed off their own porch.
Americans? Can’t find Thailand on a map, let alone a globe.
Canadians? Phuket has always been a favourite place to stay, now you’re thinking!
So who’s left?
Well anyone and everyone that is prepared to stay for over, I would say, 8 weeks plus. Someone with “the means to afford a lifestyle of luxurious quarantine” and hang the expense. Someone that would is totally feed-up with the current situation in their own country and can work from home, the pool, the beach, the coffee shop or study. You know what I’m getting at. Folks with a fair bit of cash and very few ties, in search for some peace and quiet and some sunshine.
Really, you’re asking me that? Where have you been since February? OK, I understand the question, so let me update you on what it’s been like living on Phuket since May. As we speak, Phuket has not had a COVID case since May and prior to this cases had been very low since April.
The mentality seems to be that COVID is a virus that effects the rest of the world, its a very strange situation. Neither myself, my Thai friends or their friend (oh, and Thais have a lot of friends) don’t know of anyone that has had the virus, none of them!
Everyone wears facemasks in public (not in bars and restaurants), it’s now just habit. The gyms are all open as to are the bars, restaurants, spas and cinemas. QR code check-in when entering restaurants and shops is normal practice and has been since March. This is to make any contact tracing easier should the need arise.
It’s still low season here with a few thunder storms and scattered showers, but the calm and sunny days are just stunning, locals and ex-pats gather on the beach for sun-downers and some incredible sunsets. Life has taken a backwards step, yes. Everyone is a little more cautious than before, yes. But the pace of life has eased and everyone is enjoying the freedom and relaxation.
Don’t tell everyone, but Phuket is a magical place to be right now…
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