Alternative Transport Proposed for Phuket Sandbox Visitors

Phuket authorities will analyze interprovincial travel alternatives for tourists under the sandbox scheme who couldn’t leave the island amid the latest Covid-19 outbreak.

Many travelers complied with the mandatory 14-day stay in Phuket. But they were not able to go elsewhere in Thailand due to stricter measures imposed to curb the infections surge.

Phuket Governor Narong Wunsiew said he would propose the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration to send tourists to Bangkok after flights were suspended.

He said that flights were authorized for people who have stayed on the island for two weeks and want to return to their countries.

“However, those who have stayed on the island for 14 days and want to visit other provinces could not do so in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak,” the governor said.

“Each province has followed Covid-19 restrictions imposed by the CCSA. We will raise this issue for discussion with the CCSA to find ways to help them,” he added.

Nanthasiri Ronsiri, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Phuket office, said the tourism office would discuss with the Phuket governor and the provincial transport office a way to help travelers who want to travel outside the island.

However, the tourist office wants tourists to stay in Phuket. They have been offered some tour programs in the meantime, Ms. Nanthasiri added.

Vehicles will be arranged for travelers who want to return home.

Nok Air, which is willing to fly empty flights to Phuket, will provide flights and pick them up.

Provincial officials agreed with the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand that flights would depart from Phuket to U-tapao from August 3 to August 5, Ms. Nanthasiri went on.

Local private operators have also arranged express bus services.

Bus services, which take tourists to Suvarnabhumi Airport from August 4-16, charge 1,500 baht each and will be available on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

As of July 1, more than 15,160 tourists had arrived in Phuket under the Sandbox program, generating 818 million baht in revenue.

Most tourists who have come to Phuket are Americans. The rest have traveled from the UK, Germany, Israel, and France.