Phuket detects first Covid-19 Delta variant case

The Phuket Sandbox is the Thailand’s first step towards reopening. The programme allows vaccinated visitors from overseas to visit Phuket without having to undergo the mandatory 14-day self-isolation period. Instead, they are allowed to roam the island during their quarantine period.

While the scheme suggested that the country was moving closer towards a full reopening, the novel coronavirus had other plans. Just days after the Phuket Sandbox kicked off, the island reported its first Covid-19 Delta variant case.

In order to pre-empt further infections, officials plan to tighten travel regulations – here are the new guidelines.

Recent Covid-19 updates:

Covid-19 cases during Phuket Sandbox

On 9th July 2021, a Phuket resident was confirmed to have the Delta variant of Covid-19. The businessman is said be the first confirmed case of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Phuket, and is presumed to have contracted the disease from a Bangkok-native visiting the island, asserted Phuket Public Health Office Chief, Mr. Koosak Kookiattikul.

The resident and those who came in contact with him have since been placed in quarantine, according to Chiang Mai One.

In addition to this individual, Phuket Sandbox has seen other Covid-19 cases pop up during the Sandbox as well. There was a report of one tourist testing positive for the virus, resulting in those surrounding the person to move up their return flight and one of them being put into quarantine.

Phuket’s entry requirements after the Delta variant was detected

To curb the spread of Covid-19, Phuket’s Governor Mr. Narong Woociew announced new entry requirements for those travelling from Thailand’s “Red” and “Dark Red” Zones. This regulations will come into effect on 15th July 2021 and will last until 31st July 2021, reported The Phuket News.

Image credit: Richard Barrow in Thailand

Tourists from “Red” and “Dark Red” zones must satisfy the requirements listed here:

For vaccinated travellers: 

  • Must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 at least 14 days prior to arrival
  • Have received one dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine 14 days prior to arrival
  • Must provide a negative Coviv-19 Antigen OR RT-PCR test taken no more than seven days prior to arrival

For recovered Covid-19 patients:

  • Must have been released from the hospital no more than 90 days prior to your arrival in Phuket
  • Must provide a negative Coviv-19 Antigen OR RT-PCR test taken no more than seven days prior to arrival

Covid-19 checkpoint at Phuket International Airport
Image credit: @yui_michican

If you are unsure that you are coming from “Dark Red” or “Red” zone, here is a list of provinces and what category they fall under.

Dark red zones:

  • Bangkok
  • Samut Prakan
  • Nonthaburi
  • Pathum Thani
  • Nakhon Pathom
  • Samut Sakhon
  • Songkhla
  • Pattani
  • Yala
  • Narathiwat

Red zones:

  • Ayutthaya
  • Chachoengsao
  • Suphan Buri
  • Saraburi
  • Chainat
  • Nakhon Nayok
  • Nakhon Sawan
  • Ang Thong
  • Udon Thani
  • Prachinburi
  • Sing Buri
  • Lop Buri
  • Samut Songkhram
  • Kanchanaburi
  • Ratchaburi
  • Phetchaburi
  • Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Chon Buri, Rayong
  • Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Tak
  • Nakhon Sri Thammarat
  • Krabi
  • Ranong

Staying patient during the pandemic

Many of us were looking forward to Phuket’s reopening and the possibility of travel. Going through over a year of fluctuating regulations and feeling like things are out of our control can take a toll on our emotional well-being.

So, it’s crucial to not only stay patient but also to prioritise pandemic-safe activities that can better your mental health.

Better days will come, even though they feel just a little too far away right now. Whilst waiting for the pandemic to ease, we can carry on matters that are within our reach, which can also give us a sense of agency.

Cover images adapted from:

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