The provinces were added to the previous list of 21 red zone’ provinces in an order issued late yesterday (May 6).
As such, the full list of 25 ‘red zone’ provinces, including Phuket, required to abide by the more stringent measures in order to enter Phuket as of last night is now: Bangkok, Chonburi, Chiang Mai, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Nakhon Pathom, Suphan Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Rayong, Tak, Nakhon Ratchasima, Udon Thani, Sa Kaeo, Khon Kaen, Songkhla, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Narathiwat, Surat Thani, Ranong, Krabi, Trang, Phatthalung and people who leave Phuket and return.
Regarding the cost of the rapid antigen test, if required, the order repeated from the previous order (now rescinded): “The Ministry of Public Health is responsible for the cost, except foreigners must be responsible for their own expenses.”
The news was announced by Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong yesterday (May 6).
The official order, signed by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, is marked to remain in effect until May 15.
The order issued late yesterday also made formal the requirement for all goods transport drivers passing through the checkpoint onto the island during the hours 11pm to 5am, when all other traffic onto the island is prohibited, to pass the same requirements as people arriving from ‘red zone’ provinces.
Under the order, drivers of trucks delivering essential goods must have completed two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine recognised by the Thai Food & Drug Administration (FDA) or the drivers must have been tested for COVID-19 by RT-PCR or rapid antigen test within 72 hours before departure and be able to prove such with a medical certificate.
“If any driver is unable to prove [the above] with a certificate, they must wait until the time that Phuket Check Point normally opens [so they may be tested by health officials],” the order noted.
“Drivers must also show the goods they are delivering to staff at the checkpoint,” the order added.
The checkpoint onto Phuket was ordered to close nightly from 11pm to 5am after health officers working there became “exhausted”.
In the first seven days since the requirement came into effect on Apr 22, the officers had tested more than 22,000 people coming onto the island.
As of Wednesday (May 5), the medical workers at the checkpoint had tested more than 40,000 people.