BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Thailand’s Phuket International Airport said Wednesday that it had held a dress rehearsal for international arrivals amid the COVID-19 pandemic to conform with the Thai government’s “Phuket Model” program once the scheme approved by the Cabinet meeting.
The rehearsal covered every step, from beginning of tourist arrivals to temperature screening, filling out health related documents, and taking tourists to quarantine facility.
“This is a mandatory dress rehearsal as the Thai government wishes to see the ‘Phuket Model’ as the pilot project, the first every province to welcome tourists during the pandemic,” said Thanee Chuangchoo, general manager of Phuket International Airport. “Also, all incoming passengers will need to thermo-scanned, and then go through a COVID-19 swab test.”
He said if any passenger demonstrates signs of illnesses, his/her medical certificate and fit-to-fly papers will be closely inspected.
All inbound visitors will need to download the Airports of Thailand (AOT) application before they undergo the immigration and customs formalities.
They will then be transferred to their quarantine facilities.
However, if anyone is found to have a temperature, he/she will be isolated from others and monitored. If their condition worsens, they will be sent to hospital.
The “Phuket Model” is a scheme initiated by the government to open up the popular resort island to healthy tourists for long term stay.
The scheme was launched in a bid to reboot the economic and tourism sectors of Phuket that is badly hit by the pandemic.
The “Phuket Model” was slated for October. However, the plan is currently being shelved and debated when Thailand discovered a new local COVID-19 case in Bangkok after a 100 day mark of free local transmission.
A large portion of Phuket residents also expressed fear that by allowing foreigners in, the island may risk the second wave of infections.