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Phuket airport ready to receive tourists, says Governor

Phuket airport ready to receive tourists, says Governor

PHUKET: Phuket International Airport is ready to receive foreign tourists, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew has announced, after reviewing the protocols and procedures in place at the airport during a “rehearsal” yesterday (Sept 8).

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Wednesday 9 September 2020, 11:13AM

The exercise, announced on Monday, was held as a practice session for the officers involved and to build confidence among the public in the disease-prevention measures, Governor Narong explained.

The rehearsal, which saw 10 actors play the part of foreign tourists arriving and undergoing each step of the testing and verification process for being allowed into the country, was video recorded and will be shared with the public to demonstrate its effectiveness, he said.

To further calm fears that foreign arrivals in Phuket would spark a second wave of COVID-19 infections across the island, Governor Narong stressed that no foreigners would be allowed to arrive in Phuket until all disease-prevention measures at the airport are approved by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) in Bangkok.

“Officers from Bangkok have already come and assessed the procedures in place [at the airport], and they were satisfied to a certain extent,” he said.

“Now we have conducted a full rehearsal, we are waiting on Bangkok to decide whether we can receive tourists,” he said.

“We are ready and waiting for the central government to approve foreigners to start entering [Thailand through Phuket]. If they do allow Phuket as a port of entry to the country, we are ready to perform the same protocols as practiced at Suvarnabhumi Airport,” he added.

“Sooner or later, Phuket will have to receive foreign tourists to the area in order to revive the economy and the tourism industry in Phuket, because the Phuket economy cannot be driven without foreign tourists,” Governor Narong said.

Thai Residential

“And while allowing foreign tourists to come in is a decision that must be based on economic recovery, the health of the people of Phuket must not be exposed to a second wave [of COVID-19], and if a transmission does occur, the disease must be controlled in a timely manner,” he added.

Phuket International Airport Director Thanee Chuangchoo said that the rehearsal was to show that Phuket is ready to directly receive any of the 11 groups of people already allowed to enter the country.

Mr Thanee also emphasised that the protocols and procedures in place at Phuket airport are the same as those used at Suvarnabhumi, where foreign arrivals have been landing for more than a month.

“Officers at Phuket Airport Immigration and Customs went to observe the practices at Suvarnabhumi Airport, and returned to make sure the same practices are conducted here,” he explained.

“We are ready, now we wait every day for the order from the CCSA to agree to allow foreigners to enter Phuket Airport,” Mr Thanee said.

“Please be assured that we are ready in all aspects, including the tools, equipment and personnel, in receiving foreign passengers entering Thailand. We are just waiting for the central government on when to start or what further guidelines will be followed,” he said.

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skip | 14 September 2020 - 16:48:57

as soon as 1 country defies W.H.O. and ignores their non science based corona virus PCR test and allows people to travel internationally, we will be all locked down. the PCR test is neither quantative or specific in its science. follow the science, not the TV fear mongering which is not science based. bill gates and tony fauci are well aware that the PCR test is not designed for virus testing. 

Timothy | 10 September 2020 - 09:53:20

Fascinated, I did my 90 day report yesterday and immigration was packed. Busier than I have ever seen it. Thankfully the drive though works very well. 

Fascinated | 09 September 2020 - 22:27:08

Phuket town Immigration overwhelemd? Its been quiet the last two time s I have meen in in the past 6 weeks. Stop being hysterical. This article is about people arriving, not people who are taking advantage of the current visa amnesty dates. Immigration is NOT keeping people out by the way Kurt- this is a gov't level decision well above their paygrade.

Svcoquette | 09 September 2020 - 16:28:38

Phuket town Immigration overwhelmed, please allow Immigration office at Chalong pier to process extensions. 

Shwe | 09 September 2020 - 14:02:30

Why is it called "Alternative State Quarantine" foreignrs have no choice they can only use the expensive state approved hotels only Thais get to choose. It should be ESAQHFF. Expensive State Approved Quarantine Hotels For Foreigners

Svcoquette | 09 September 2020 - 12:26:21

If the extension fees is behind this we would be happy to pay them when we are finally able to leave safely. Hasseling tourists this way is not good for anyone.

Svcoquette | 09 September 2020 - 12:21:53

I agree with Kurt. Why encourage the foreign tourists to leave Phuket. We are virus free and continue to help the local economy. Malaysia has extended all VISA s until 31 Dec, Thailand should do the same. We feel safe here and do noteish to leave. The Phuket Immigration office was packed with tourists yesterday, not good.

Kurt | 09 September 2020 - 11:53:01

Rehearsal with just 10 actors only, and Phuket is ready for receiving foreign tourists.  They will not come.  Just foreigners who are for work/business, married in Thailand and having children here, and retirees who are waiting in 'home countries' will return. No tourist in the right mind takes 12-16 hours flights with great chance to arrive in Thailand Covid-19 infected.  

Kurt | 09 September 2020 - 11:24:08

.." Phuket economy can not be driven without foreign tourists"...Tell that to the Phuket Immigration that works very hard to drive out present foreign tourist before 26 Sept. because of visa matters. Keep them on Phuket now with just a extension stamp. Does that hurt Thailand? In contrary. It is all just paper stuff.  Difficult times need adjusting many rules. Visa runs not possible till...


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