6 ‘Phuket Sandbox’ travelers have COVID-19: health officials

A file photo of international travelers arriving in the Phuket Airport. Photo: Phuket International Airport
A file photo of international travelers arriving in the Phuket Airport. Photo: Phuket International Airport

Phuket authorities confirmed today that six international travelers who recently arrived on the island have COVID-19. 

They had been coming into Thailand since the Phuket Sandbox scheme began on July 1, according to Phuket health chief Koosak Kookiatkul. The infected travelers were an American, an Emirati, an African, a Swiss and three from Myanmar. 

Three of them, a 45-year-old Burmese, a 28-year-old African and a 13-year-old boy from Switzerland, were confirmed to have the infection after second swab test results came out this morning. Health officials will trace their movements since arriving in Thailand, Koosak said.  

Since July 1, nearly 4,000 travelers reportedly entered the country via the Phuket Sandbox scheme. Inbound travelers were required show proof of of having received two doses of a WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before the travel date. Upon their arrivals, they were also required to take three COVID-19 tests, download an alert app in their mobile phones, and turn on location-sharing throughout their stay in Thailand. 

Other conditions include measures for Thai and non-Thai residents, pre- and post-arrival requirements and more, include paying in advance for three COVID-19 tests (THB8,000 or US$250), carrying US$100,000 worth of health insurance and spending two weeks in a certified island hotel for before traveling elsewhere in the kingdom. The rest has been summarized in English by the tourism authority.

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