Once upon a time, it was enough to hope for sun, sea and sand from a beach break. Now, not catching or spreading a deadly disease tops the agenda. In the hopes of addressing potential travellers’ aspirations and anxieties while responsibly reopening its borders to tourists and the money they bring, Thailand is exploring a programme it is calling “Safe and Sealed”. Sexy the name is not, but neither are the realities of life during coronavirus, so we’ll let it slide. Last month, the Bangkok Post reported that the Tourism and Sports Ministry was preparing to introduce the Safe and Sealed plan in six regions, with Phuket getting the green light “in principle” to be the test destination, from the beginning of October. Visitors will be able to fly into the southern province, where they will have to quarantine for 14 days at a designated resort. These quarantourists will be tested for Covid-19 on their arrival and be allowed to travel within 1km of their hotel, before being tested again before their 14th day is done. Anyone wishing to stay in for longer or venture further afield in the country will have to quarantine for an additional week and pass another test at the end of that stint, after which they will be deemed safe and be permitted to break the seal and continue on their merry way. Which Phuket hotels or resorts will be selected for the scheme is yet to be announced, although CNN Travel reported that the area around Patong beach was being considered. One of the first results to return from a Google search for “Patong beach” is, “Is it really that bad?” – but at this point, we’re so starved of travel we’d take wherever we are given. Thailand woos tourists back to Phuket, but is it worth the risk? A quick Skyscanner search shows that HK Express, Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon are operating direct flights to Phuket throughout October, from about HK$4,300 (US$555). And on August 27, online newspaper The Phuket News reported that Thai Airways would be launching direct flights to the island from Denmark, Germany, England, Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, although not until late November – just in time for what would usually be peak season. So, if you don’t mind spending another two weeks confined to your flat on your return – assuming travel bubbles haven’t reinflated by October 1 – Thailand is just about within reach. But only for those with the money, annual leave and free time to spend in what is essentially fancy quarantine. Of course, travel has long been the pursuit of the privileged. When commercial air travel was first introduced, it was exclusive to the upper echelons of society, gradually becoming more accessible in the post-war period before budget airlines and package holidays brought international adventures to the masses. These developments might have brought about overtourism and expedited climate breakdown , but they also democratised tourism; well, at least to the extent that many of us took air travel for granted in the pre-pandemic world. The coronavirus has proven to be a great divider: between those who wear masks for the greater good and those who believe that to be asked to do so is an assault on their individual freedoms; between people whose economic standing has allowed them to weather the storm in comfort and people who have lost everything; between those who will be on the first flight back into Phuket and those for whom holidays remain a distant dream. It’s only natural to want to travel again, especially as domestic options are limited in Hong Kong, but when you do, please venture responsibly and with humility – and stay safe and sealed. Bali’s miniature Marina Bay Sands Whenever we do get to wandering again, be sure to bear in mind the newest addition to Bali’s world-class attractions: a mini Marina Bay Sands! Because, surely, the only thing that was missing from Indonesia’s best known and most visited island was a replica of the iconic Singapore hotel? Reported to be part of The Blooms Garden, a flower garden that “soft-opened” last year, according to Singaporean news site The Independent , online commenters have not reacted well to the construction of the clone. Among the adjectives ascribed to it are “lousy”, “stupid” and “tacky AF”. Although it is hard to get an idea of the structure’s size from the pictures that have been posted, it seems safe to say that it won’t become Instagram famous for its rooftop infinity pool, as the original did. Which isn’t to say it won’t become Instagram famous … Japan launches socially distant drive-through haunted house In cinema, Japanese horror has set the bar for what is spine chilling, and it seems the country is determined to do the same when it comes to tourist attractions. “Haunted house and horror event production team” Kowagarasetai has come up with a concept for the age of Covid-19, a drive-through horror show inside a Tokyo warehouse – and it looks truly terrifying. Without leaving the safety of their car (because, social distancing), participants are given a Bluetooth speaker that spins a ghoulish yarn and plunged into darkness. Their stationary vehicle is then subjected to a 17-minute attack by zombies. However, as this is Japan, the fake blood-splattered car will be washed and sanitised afterwards. Visitors’ pants may not be so clean on leaving the scene.