Quarantine is usually something dreaded, but perhaps not the one at this resort in Phuket.
14-day quarantine for tourists headed to Thailand
After six months of closed borders, Thailand will be allowing in its first group of foreign tourists from China on Oct. 8, on a chartered Air Asia flight.
Besides Chinese tourists, 120 tourists from Scandinavian and Schengen countries will be flying in on Nov. 1, reported Thai PBS World
These tourists will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine and Covid-19 tests at government-designated quarantine facilities, before they are allowed to hit the beaches and travel around the country.
Luxurious quarantine facilities with hefty price tag
Some of the quarantine facilities are nothing short of luxurious though. A private infinity pool attached to a villa is what one of the facilities in Phuket has to offer its confined guests.
The Senses Resort in Phuket has prepared 16 villas, each up to 220 square metres, just for quarantined guests, according to France24 via AFP.
The villas were redesigned to facilitate the 14-day quarantine process — cushioned surfaces were removed to make disinfecting easier, and CCTV cameras were installed at the entrances of each villa as well.
Employees were also trained at a hospital on how to spot infections, and all have their own personal protective equipment (PPE) to wear when delivering room-service meals.
The quarantine facility at this resort unsurprisingly doesn’t come cheap, costing US$5,300 (~S$7,200), or US$18,700 (~S$25,400) for a family of four, according to AFP.
Suppachoke Laongphet, owner of The Senses Resort, told AFP that not much profit can be made from these visitors due to the hefty expenses involved in hosting them.
However, the hotel needed to find alternative sources of income and revenue to support its employees and the local economy, he said.
Over 80 per cent of Phuket’s economy depends on tourism, reported Bangkok Post.
Tourists can stay up to 270 days in Thailand after quarantine
Eight other properties in Phuket have gotten the government’s approval to host quarantined guests. Most of them are luxury hotels.
Tourists who successfully complete the 14-day quarantine will be issued a Special Tourist Visa (STC) valid for up to 90 days and extendable for up to 270 days.
However, before that, they are expected to stay strictly within their premises.
After they are released from quarantine, visitors will be tracked via mobile phone apps and wrist bands, said Thai prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, in a statement to reporters.
If the first batch of tourists in October are clear of Covid-19, the Thai government will consider lowering the quarantine period from 14 to seven days, reported Bangkok Post.