Phuket Governor Vows To Modify Sandbox Rules To Resolve Concerns
Published: January 7, 2022 at 4:10 pm
As infection rates keep rising, Phuket’s Governor has committed to addressing a variety of flaws with the island’s current sandbox program. Narong Woosiew said that the issues discovered would result in changes and that he will soon launch “Phuket Sandbox Version 2.”
“At the moment, the economy is doing great as a result of the growing number of tourists. I want citizens, business owners, and other stakeholders to continue to adhere to COVID-19 prevention measures. If we could keep that way, we will be able to work together and get through this crisis.
Pichate Panaphong, Narong’s deputy, says there are now 4 issues with the current sandbox program, which was introduced in July 2021 to encourage international visitors back. The first issue is the length of time it takes for Thailand Pass applications to be approved. Pichatewants to see a one-stop service that is open 24 hours a day with a dedicated call center to assist international tourists. He has sent the proposal to the Interior Ministry, requesting that it be discussed with the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration or CCSA.
Pichate added that there are also insufficient RT PCR testing laboratories. He asserts the necessity for a second follow-up RT PCR test on sandbox tourists means that there are insufficient facilities to meet the demand. However, Phuket has added 5 mobile laboratory vehicles since January 4 and authorities anticipate it could handle up to 1,200 persons every day.
According to Pichate, the third concern is a lack of hotel isolation facilities, dubbed “hospitels,” to match the demand. According to him, the Phuket Public Health Administration will collaborate with Vachira Hospital and the Thai Hotels Association’s southern chapter to expand services for foreigners who test positive but are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.
Finally, the 4th issue is the problem with the insurance coverage that tourists purchase ahead of their arrival. Due to the fact that many insurers would not cover patients with minor or no symptoms, Pichate believes the government should require foreign arrivals to get local insurance as well.