PHUKET: Fifty-nine wealthy foreign tourists arrived in this southern island province on Sunday night and went into "villa quarantine" at the Sri Panwa Hotel.
The first group, of 13, arrived about 8.20pm on a chartered Garuda Airlines flight from Indonesia to Phuket international airport.
They were welcomed by deputy governor Pichet Panapong, Dr Muanprae Boonlom, director of Patong Hospital, and disease control officials.
The second group arrived on another chartered flight from Indonesia about two hours later.
Mr Pichet said the 59 tourists are from the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Finland. They had converged in Indonesia before proceeding on chartered flights to Phuket.
All of them are staying at the Sri Panwa Hotel in villa quarantine. For the first five days of their 14-day quarantine the visitors must stay in their accommodation. After that, they can make use of the facilities within the grounds of the hotel.
Their arrival marks the debut of villa quarantine.
On arrival at Phuket airport the tourists went through immigration and then customs before leaving the air terminal via Gate 1.
From there, they were taken to the X-Terminal building inside the airport complex for Covid-19 screening, before heading to the hotel.