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Phuket Welcomes Tourists From 63 Countries After Over A Year But Malaysia Is Not On The List


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Source: Phuket International Airport l Facebook

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On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 as a pandemic. At that time, we did not know what it entails and how much our life would change.

Fast forward to more than a year later, people all over the globe are getting vaccinated and certain countries are reopening their borders. Close to home, Phuket has launched a tourism scheme (Sandbox scheme) that allows tourists to visit without a 14-day quarantine.

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Many tourists booked their tickets to the Thai island and 347 of them reached the tarmac of the tropical island on 1 July 2021. The 347 tourists were from Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Singapore and they were welcomed with a “water tunnel”.

The travellers who exited the aeroplane was then ushered to screening booths where their temperature was taken and their vaccination status was checked. They were also required to download the Thailand Plus and Mor Chana applications.

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After going through immigration, the tourists had to get swab tests (RT-PCR testing), reported Bangkok Post. They will have to be in their hotel for 24 hours until they get their results back. If they are positive, they will be brought to the hospital immediately and on the other hand, if they tested negative, they are free to go out.

However, Thailand is currently experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases now with 5,533 cases reported on 1 July, this wave is referred to as the worst-ever Covid-19 wave experienced by Thailand. However, Phuket is not really affected as 70% of the inhabitants of the island has been vaccinated with at least 1 dose. Up until now, 1,344 tourists have registered under the Sandbox scheme.

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In a Facebook post by politician Ahmad Shabery Cheek, he said that Malaysians are “insulted” as they are not included in the list of countries that are allowed to join the Sandbox scheme.

“Starting from 1 July, 63 countries can enter Phuket without having to quaratine. The criteria is that you need to be fully-vaccinated. However, Malaysia is not on the list but Singapore, Brunei and Myanmar are.”

“They say that Malaysians are unsafe.”

Malaysia is categorised as a high-risk country in a document by Thailand’s Department of Disease Control as we are reporting more than 5,000 to 10,000 cases daily.

What is your opinion on this? Let us know in the comments. 


Also read: “Missing the plane vibes” M’sians Nostalgic For Flying After MAS Releases 30-Minute ASMR Clip

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