Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Col Aganit Danpitaksat said that since the new measures came into effect on Tuesday (Aug 3), the volume of traffic arriving at the checkpoint at Tha Chatchai had fallen by some 75%.
Even then, nearly a quarter of those who are continuing to arrive are being refused entry to the island, Col Aganit said yesterday.
“The people had failed to understand the new measures in effect, and were told to return to their home provinces,” he said.
“The Phuket Provincial Government wants to prevent any infections from outside coming into the area, and wants to reduce the chance of any transmissions and reduce the number of new infections as soon as possible.
“This means such measures may affect some parts of the transport industry, which had a meeting to find a way to relax to be able to continue their business to alleviate the suffering and living conditions of the people while being safe from the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible,” he added.
The high rate of people being refused entry to Phuket follows 190 drivers being turned away at the checkpoint on Tuesday (Aug 3), the first day of the ‘island isolation’ from domestic arrivals from the mainland.
The new measures that came into effect on Tuesday are to remain in effect until at least Aug 16.
Under the provincial order introducing the measures, the only persons and vehicles to be allowed onto the island during the period are as follows:
1) Medical ambulance emergency patient, lifeguard, rescue
2) Transport drugs, materials, medical supplies, medical chemicals
3) Transport consumer goods, agricultural products, livestock, animal feed
4) Transporting cooking gas fuel
5) Transport for banks, money, financial institution
6) Transport of parcels and publications
7) People who need to travel through international channels Phuket International Airport (must have a ticket of the travel date only)
8) Persons who have been ordered or have a written assignment from the agency to perform duties in the prevention and control of diseases in Phuket
9) People who have been ordered by government agencies to go or perform urgent missions in Phuket
10) Those who have an appointment according to the court proceedings prosecutor or the investigating officer which must have clear documentary evidence that if postponing the said appointment will seriously damage the consideration process or an appointment to register rights and juristic acts only in case of urgent need that cannot be avoided otherwise it will cause damage to the parties or greatly affect the economy.
11) Transport construction materials, machinery and spare parts used for maintenance. Only used in the implementation of projects to solve the flood problem. or projects of the state, state enterprises, other government agencies in solving problems of people’s troubles or in case of urgent need
12) Any other cases that have practical problems that need to be diagnosed and ordered The incident commander at the Phuket checkpoint shall have the authority to consider on a case by case basis.
Even then, the checkpoint onto Phuket will remain closed to all traffic except for emergencies from 11pm to 4am each night.
In order to be allowed into Phuket, all of the above exceptions still must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by having received two doses of the Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine, or one injection of the Sinovac vaccine and one injection of the AstraZeneca vaccine, or at least one injection of the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 14 days before arriving.
Alternatively, arrivals must have been discharged from medical care for recovering from COVID-19 no more than 90 days before arriving.
Also, in order to be allowed into Phuket, all arrivals must present results of an RT-PCR test or antigen test performed by a medical facility within 72 hours of arriving proving that they are not infected.