A British journalist’s account of a two-week stay inside a ‘hospitel’ in Phuket has drawn attention to problems with service and amenities for guests at such establishments, as well as questions about relaxed Covid prevention measures. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) explains that the care of Covid-positive people staying in hospitels comply with public health measures, but a revision over the activities allowed for these guests will now take place.
Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, the director of TAT’s Phuket Office, elaborated on the activity depicted in the photograph accompanying the British journalist’s article, saying that some activities are permitted in hospitels with the purpose of enabling the quarantined guests to relax. However, her office will have discussions with the relevant bodies and hospitels in Phuket about the types of activities that are permissible. Hospitels will also be asked to predetermine the time for activities each day.
Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Weerasak Lorthongkham said on a local radio program that Covid-infected persons in Phuket are cared for via the hospital, hospitel, hotel room isolation, and hotel isolation methods. He asserted that quarantine at hotels did not amount to incarceration as suggested by the article published in the Sunday Times. Dr. Weerasak explained that people quarantined at hotels are able to partake in recreational activities but these must be overseen by public health personnel.
Phuket Tourist Association president Bhummikitti Ruktaengam said guests at quarantine hotels are allowed to leave their rooms to lessen the stress they experience. He added that an understanding will need to be reached about the permissible guest activities inside a quarantine hotel. According to Mr. Bhummikitti, subpar amenities and services were issues that were limited to specific hospitels and his association will seek improvements at the hospitel in question.(NNT)