Sandbox Expats in Phuket Have Been Left Stranded Due To Suspension Of Local Flights

Sandbox tourists left stranded in Phuket after all domestic flights were suspended after the severe Covid-19 outbreak will be offered a special bus transfer service to Suvarnabhumi airport as an ad hoc solution.
Those planning to take a flight from Suvarnabhumi to their other destinations will be able to use the service, while those intending to return to Phuket can do so as return flights are available there, as usual, said Phuket governor Narong Wunsiew recently.
The bus transfer service will be available on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays until Aug 16, he said. It will cost 1,500 baht per person.
He said the bus leaves Central Phuket Festival at 5am and stops at a PTT petrol station in Thalang district at 5.30 am before heading to Suvarnabhumi, where it is scheduled to arrive at 9 pm the same day.
Safety and Health Administration (SHA) Plus-certified hotels can only book Sandbox Express Bus service, he said.
Several tourists who arrived at the Phuket Sandbox on July 1, 2021, had to return home after spending some time there.
Narong noted that many of these Phuket Sandbox tourists had planned further travel after Phuket before the pandemic situation became so serious.
Several of these tourists are Thais who wished to leave Phuket after the required 14-day stay was fulfilled, and most have no problems continuing to their destinations, he said.
“Only some of these Thai tourists – and their foreign counterparts – who wish to go on to the other provinces now require assistance, and the province is working with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration on ways to ensure their comfort,” said the governor.
Based on its stringent control measures for Covid-19, Phuket is considered the safest place in Thailand in terms of outbreaks.
Due to the suspension of domestic flights on July 20, the travel plans of numerous Phuket Sandbox tourists who finished their 14-day stay have been affected, according to Nanthasiri Ronsiri, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Phuket office.
It is likely that many of them wanted to travel to other destinations in Thailand before going to Bangkok and leaving the country via Suvarnabhumi, she said.
When tourists inquire about traveling to other provinces, the office now tries to convince them to stay on in Phuket for their own safety and offers them special tourism programs,” the official said.
Those who insist on traveling to Bangkok have only the bus transfer service as an option, she said, while Nok Air is still in talks with the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand about operating a one-way flight from Phuket to U-Tapao airport specifically for Phuket Sandbox passengers.
Thailand’s top land transport official says drivers of buses transporting passengers to Suvarnabhumi airport are subject to strict Covid-19 control measures when they return to Phuket. This is because Suvarnabhumi is in the dark-red zone, where the outbreak situation is critical.
Phuket Sandbox has welcomed 14,055 tourists over the past month.


I should be soon hitting 20,000 visitors.

You can get my book The Prisoner of Bangkok at…/The-Prisoner-Of-Bangkok

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