4,000 per day to ask to visit Phuket

PHUKET: Phuket remains a popular travel destination among international arrivals, as more than 4,000 applicants submit forms to enter the resort island through the Thailand Pass system every day, the Phuket Tourism Association (PTA) said on Tuesday 11 January.

Tourists arrive at Phuket Airport in November. Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran

PTA chairman Bhummikitti Ruktaengam said most of the candidates came from Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan, UK, US and France, reported the Bangkok Post.

On Tuesday, the association registered 4,288 requests. The number of candidates implies that the countermeasures against Covid-19 are working and instilling confidence in tourists, he said.

Among international travelers who test positive for the novel coronavirus after arriving here, around 70-80% are infected with the Omicron variant, he said, adding that 90% of cases only showed mild symptoms.

Patients can stay in their hotels if they can stay isolated in their rooms, Bhummikitti noted. Hotels must also have received the Safety and Health Administration Plus certificate from the Department of Public Health.

If hotels have not prepared rooms to isolate infected tourists, hotel managers will coordinate with authorities to find suitable facilities such as hospitals (hotel-hospitals) and community isolation rooms. Newly established travelers (TCI), he said.

Currently, 126 out of 480 hotels have signed up for the hotel room isolation program, which means they have allocated some of their rooms to isolate infected travelers who are showing mild symptoms. The total number of rooms under this program in Phuket now stands at 650, Bhummikitti said.

The PTA expects the number of accredited hotels to double to 250 soon, he added. Additionally, Bangkok’s Siriroj Hospital in Phuket will partner with a local hotel to add another 100 hospital rooms, he noted. Phuket will launch three TCI centers today. The centers will be an option for infected travelers who cannot find hotels with specially isolated rooms or who are waiting for health insurance approval to stay.

On Monday, Phuket registered 468 new national cases of Covid-19, 184 cases from the Phuket Sandbox and 74 from the Test & Go program.

No new deaths were recorded.