People who bring their own ATKs to be tested at the checkpoint must use ATKs that test nasal cavity swabs, explained Phuket Public Health Office (PPHO) officer Nanthawan Rodrungrueng.
The news comes after reopening the island yesterday (Sept 8) to receiving domestic tourists who are fully vaccinated and test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arriving.
All domestic visitors arriving at the checkpoint are now allowed to bring their own ATKs and use them at the checkpoint to prove they are not infected with COVID-19.
The reopening yesterday saw long traffic queues return to the checkpoint, with about 50 arrivals bringing their own ATKs and conducting the test at the checkpoint, Ms Nanthawan said.
None of the arrivals tested positive for COVID-19, Ms Nanthawan added.
However, several people were turned away after being refused entry, he said.
“For arrivals who will bring their own ATKs, please use the kits which test by inserting the swab in the nasal cavity because we have agreed to not print out the confirmation document for those who use the kit which tests only saliva,” Ms Nanthawan confirmed.
“Today, we had four people using the saliva test kits, and they were denied entry to the island,” she said.
“One more thing, please use the test kits that are standardised and certified by the FDA [Food and Drug Administration]” she added.
Some arrivals were denied entry to the island because they could not meet the entry requirements, such as they had not entered their travel details on www.gophuget.com or were unable to prove they had tested negative for the virus, Ms Nanthwan confirmed.
Mana Rattanaphan, 44, who brought his own ATK and conducted the test at the checkpoint, praised the move to reopen Phuket to people from other areas in Thailand.
Mr Mana explained that he is a Phuket native, but works in Krabi.
“I had not come to see my mother in Phuket for two months since the island isolation came into effect. Now that the restrictions have been eased, I can now visit my mother two to three times a month, so I feel very good about the relaxed measures,” Mr Mana said.
The move to allow people to buy their own ATKs also helps save him money and time, he added.