TUI travel agency receives more criticism after Norwegian family is isolated in Thailand
A Norwegian family’s Christmas vacation in Thailand turned into a covid-19 nightmare after their 9-year-old son tested positive on arrival in the country and the family were placed in hospital isolation local. Although it is fairly well known that Thailand has strict measures in place when it comes to positive cases, the family say they had not been informed by the TUI travel company that they risked 10 days of death. isolation in a hospital if infected with covid-19.
When the Vinterbro family of four in Norway booked their tickets through TUI travel agency for Phuket, Thailand, they were prepared to spend 24 hours in quarantine upon arrival at a hotel called SHA Plus, which is a hotel. quarantine approved. They booked their entire stay in Thailand at the same hotel and the conditions were that adults be fully vaccinated against covid-19, that everyone can have a negative CPR test done no later than 72 hours before departure, and that everyone take a new CPR test on arrival in Thailand.
“We thought that if we became infected with covid-19, we could isolate ourselves in the hotel room. There was no mention of a hospital stay. We got the impression from TUI that he was sure to come. If we had known that we had to go to the hospital if we were infected, we would not have left, ”Silje Hoel Nikolic told Østlandets Blad.
The family’s 9-year-old son tested positive on arrival and the family were told he was to be placed in hospital isolation for 10 days. Something that shocked them, says Silje Hoel Nikolic. Due to her young age, Silje was allowed to self-isolate with him in a private hospital, but since she is not ill, she finds isolation difficult.
“The room is nice but it is closed and we are not allowed to go out. I’m not sick and I feel like I’m going crazy. I wear a face mask all the time and sleep with it at night. I disinfect and wash, and I feel paranoid. It is an extreme experience. There were a lot of difficult times. We are allowed to go out at a special time of day, but since there are other covid-19 patients, I dare not go out, ”she said.
Her husband and 11-year-old son were isolated at the hotel but on Christmas Eve, six days after arriving in Thailand, the son also tested positive, and now he and his father are also in isolation at the same hospital. but in different pieces of Silje and their youngest son.
“Our oldest son suffered from childhood asthma, so we’re a little worried about how he’s coping with it. So we thought it was safer that he also went to the hospital. My youngest son and I can return to our hotel soon, but my husband and 11 year old son have to stay ten full days. Every vacation is ruined, but the worst part is that we are isolated from each other, ”she says.
Throughout the ordeal, she says they received no help from TUI but says the travel company later added a paragraph to their website that says if you test positive at destination, you must be isolated for ten days in a hospital or until it is confirmed that you are no longer infected with Covid-19.
After receiving the story and reviews from Silje Hoel Nikolic, Nora Aspengren, Norway’s communications manager for TUI, said in an email to ØB:
“It is sad to hear that this family has had such a vacation experience and that we have not provided the service they can expect from us. This is not how it should be, and I am so sorry for that. I have now informed my colleagues in Phuket and expect something to be done about it.
Regarding information on local rules and guidelines, she states the following:
“We regularly share information on our information pages and travelers should familiarize themselves with what applies at all times. Just like here at home, things can change quickly. We rely on information provided by Thai authorities and update both websites and via customer newsletters. I was in Phuket 2 weeks ago and found things to be working fine. But it’s important to stay up to date, especially in these times. “