Phuket wears desolate look amid Covid spike

 Monday, April 26, 2021 


Many establishments in Phuket, Thailand’s largest and one of the most popular islands remain closed now owing to the pandemic. Other establishments around the beach, on Phuket Island, are more firmly shuttered, leaving only the carcasses of a tourism industry devastated by the corona epidemic.

The emptiness of Patong streets where tuk-tuk drivers once prowled can be witnessed, who now work temporarily as touts for snorkeling trips, peep shows or Thai massages.

Only few weeks ago, Phuket seemed prepared for a comeback. After a year of almost no foreign tourists in Thailand, the national government decided to welcome vaccinated visitors in July, without needing any quarantine. The project was called Phuket Sandbox.

However, Thailand is now gripped by its worst Covid-19 outbreak since the pandemic started, spread partly by the wealthy Thais who partied in Phuket and Bangkok with no social distancing. The confirmed daily cases, although low by global standards, has increased from 26 on April 1 to more than 2,000 three weeks later.

For months, Thailand’s strict quarantines, lockdowns, border vigilance and meticulous use of masks kept the virus under check, although the economy suffered. But although in last couple of weeks there are repeated daily cases, the Thai government is reacting rather slowly.

In early April, as cases began to rise, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha reacted with a verbal shrug – “Whatever happens, happens,” he said.

Hence, in a bid to save its tourism sector, Phuket, which had shut its airport during a Covid spike last year, continued to allow people this spring on domestic flights, even though cases shot up.

« Back to Page

Related Posts



Subscribe to our Newsletter

I want to receive travel news and trade event update from Travel And Tour World. I have read Travel And Tour World's Privacy Notice.