The new order, Phuket Provincial Order No 5407/2564 issued by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew yesterday (Sept 11) and posted publicly late last night, is marked to be in effect from this coming Wednesday, Sept 15, “until a new order is issued”.
The order extends the “island isolation” protocol that came into effect through the previous order, which came into effect only on Wednesday this past week (Sept 8), prohibiting all people except those listed as exemptions from being allowed onto the island.
The order extends the provisions to allow domestic tourists and other people already in Thailand to be allowed to enter the province providing that they satisfy the mandated requirements ‒ namely that they are fully vaccinated, have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arriving and have entered their travel details on www.gophuget.com.
The new order includes the revised version of the previous order, removing the requirement for domestic tourists to be RT-PCR tested for COVID-19 on Day 5 of their stay, and allows people to bring their own self-bought antigen test kits (ATKs) to conduct the test at the checkpoint leading onto the island.
The full list of exemptions allowed to enter Phuket was given in the order as:
1) Medical ambulance, emergency patient, lifeguard, rescue (vehicles and personnel)
2) Transport of medicines, materials, medical supplies, medical chemicals
3) Transport of consumer goods, agricultural products, livestock, animal feed
4) Transport of cooking gas fuel
5) Transport for banks, money, financial institutions
6) Transport of parcels and publications
7) Transport of construction materials, machinery and spare parts used for maintenance
8) People who import or export cargo via the Phuket Deep Sea Port and cargo handling areas
9) Transport of materials and machinery used in the implementation of projects to solve flood problems or projects of the state, state enterprises, other government agencies in solving people’s problems or in case of urgent need.
10) People who have been registered on house registration documents or work in the Phuket area on a regular basis (must have documentary proof)
11) Persons who have been ordered or have a written assignment from an agency to perform duties in the prevention and control of disease in Phuket
12) Visitors following the tourism pilot area opening project Phuket Sandbox and vehicle drivers (requires confirmation document)
13) Persons who have been ordered by government agencies to go or perform urgent missions in Phuket
14) People who have a need to take an international flight at Phuket International Airport. They must present to officers at the checkpoint the flight booking document, which must have the flight date on the entry date only.
15) Persons who have made an appointment according to the court, public prosecutor or investigating officer with clear documentary evidence that postponing the appointment will seriously damage the consideration process; or an appointment for urgent registration of rights and juristic acts that cannot be avoided, otherwise it will cause damage to the parties or greatly affect the economy.
16) People who come to Phuket for tourism. Must have proof of hotel or accommodation reservation, which must be paid in advance; must present a travel itinerary; and must register their travel details through www.gophuget.com and show officials the QR code issued to teh traveller in order to be allowed to enter Phuket.
17) Patients who need to see doctor or need to receive medical treatment (must have doctor’s appointment) as well as doctors, nurses, medical staff and other personnel involved in public health services.
18) Any other cases that have practical problems that need to be resolved and ordered by the incident commander at the Phuket Check Point who shall have the authority to consider on a case by case basis.
All of the above (exemptions) must be fully 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.
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.
Alternatively, arrivals must have been discharged from medical care for recovering from COVID-19 no more than 90 days before arriving, the order added.
Arrivals can bring their own antigen test kits (ATKs) and conduct the test in front of officers at the ports, the order noted.
However, not mentioned in the order was that health officials require that the ATKs brought to be used at the checkpoint must be nasal swab tests. Arrivals who present saliva test ATKs only will be denied entry to the island.
People registered on house registration documents for addresses in Phuket and Phang Nga can enter and leave Phuket as long as they are fully vaccinated and have tested negative by antigen test kit (ATK) within the past seven days.
All arrivals must also register their travel details at www.gophuget.com or have a special permission letter signed by an officer at a District Office in Phuket.
The new order also allowed for any people to return to Phuket after enjoying a day trip to another ‘Sandbox pilot area’, such as Khao Lak, Phi Phi Island or the Koh Yao islands east of Phuket.
“Travelers who travel under the tourism pilot project (7+7 Extension) or those who travel outside of Phuket by sea to other pilot provinces on a one-day trip. with boat drivers, guides and crew to be able to travel to Phuket with complete vaccination results according to the specified criteria by testing for COVID-19 with ATK (Antigen Test Kit) method every week,” said the order.
Of note, the section used the Thai words “ทุกสัปดาห์”, literally translating as “every week”, leaving it not clear whether this was intended to mean that people would be allowed to re-enter Phuket if could prove they had tested negative for COVID-19 “in the past week”.
Students under 18 years of age who are unable to receive vaccination against COVID-19 and need to travel to Phuket to study must present documents confirming which educational institution they attend and that they need to travel to Phuket to attend classes, and they must present a document issued by the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) confirming that they have tested negative for the virus with a certificate for COVID-19 testing to be valid for no more than one month each time.
People arriving in Phuket to receive their second vaccination injection 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.
Also of note, all visitors entering Phuket must register their travel details through the gophuget.com website ‒ and must present the QR code issued to them to the Communicable Disease Control Officer at the checkpoint before entering Phuket.
All arrivals must install the Mor Chana application on their phones and enable location sharing through the app.
The Phuket Check Point at Tha Chatchai, guarding the only road onto Phuket, will remain closed to all traffic except for emergencies from 11pm to 3am each night, the order confirmed.