However, they are asked to observe a 14-day quarantine at home and to continually monitor their health for signs of infection of COVID-19.
Previously, people arriving from four specific districts in Bangkok – Nong Khaem District, Bang Phlat District, Bang Khae District and Bang Khun Thian District – were required to observe a 14-day quarantine.
Also removed from the list of mandatory quarantine areas is Samut Prakan.
Following the order issued yesterday only people arriving from Samut Sakhon, Rayong, Chonburi, Trat, Chanthaburi, Nakhon Prathom and Nonthaburi must observe a 14-day quarantine after arriving in Phuket.
Visitors to the island may observe the 14-day quarantine at an Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) venue while Phuket residents may observe the 14-day quarantine at home.
The order yesterday “moved” Bangkok and Samut Prakan to the secondary list of ‘red zone’ risk areas, which also includes Tak, Saraburi, Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Suphan Buri, Lop Buri, Sing Buri, Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Nayok, Ranong, Chumphon, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Sa Kaew, Ratchaburi, Petchburi, Samut Songkhram, Angthong, Chachoengsao and Prachin Buri.
People arriving from the 21 provinces/areas in the secondary list of ‘red zone’ risk areas are asked to self-quarantine and must follow New Normal requirements.
However, the order clearly stated that whether or not any new arrival is to observe any quarantine after arriving in Phuket remained at the discretion of the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) for the area where the arrival is staying.
The announcement was made after a meeting of the Communicable Disease Committee yesterday (Jan 24) and published by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) yesterday afternoon.
Visitors from 11 ‘orange zone’ provinces – Sukhothai, Kamphaeng Phet, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Phetchabun, Chaiyaphum, Buriram, Nakhon Ratchasima, Surat Thani or Phang Nga – are asked to self-monitor for 14 days.
Visitors from anywhere else in the country – 34 provinces designated as ‘yellow zone’ risk areas– are only asked to register to their travel details through the gophuget.com web portal and install and register through the Mor Chana COVID-tracking app – which is required of every person travelling to Phuket, including people coming on day-trips.
The order noted that failure to comply with the order may be punished under Section 51 of Disease Control Act 2015, which incurs a fine of up to B20,000
Those found breaching the order will also be charged under Section 18 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations B.E. 2548 (2005), which invokes a penalty of up to two years imprisonment or up to B40,000 or both, the order warned.
The relaxation of the quarantine requirement for arrivals from Bangkok came just one day after key Phuket tourism industry leaders called for a relaxation to the requirements to visit Phuket as a way to help the island’s devastated tourism industry.
The plea also called for Phuket officials to take steps for international tourists to start returning to the island by October. The proposal called for all international arrivals from October to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Phuket Governor Narong noted that by that time he expected to see 70% of the island’s population vaccinated for virus as a way to boost potential tourists’ confidence in travelling to Phuket and as a way of making local people feel confident that the arrival of international tourists would not spark another outbreak on the island.