V/Gov Supoj broke the news in a live video broadcast this afternoon on the official Facebook page of the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket).
V/Gov Supoj explained that those who want to leave the island must first register by using an online form or by informing their village head.
Of note, in an announcement only yesterday, PR Phuket explained that the online form was for a “survey” only so that officials could gauge what action to take with Thais stuck in Phuket during the COVID crisis.
“We opened for bookings today at 3pm, with 2,500 people to leave in the morning, from 5am to midday, and another 2,500 to leave after that, from midday to 8pm,” V/Gov Supoj said.
The need for people to book their places to leave was to reduce the crowd of people and vehicles at the Phuket Check Point, where they will be “screened” for elevated body temperature before leaving the island by bridge.
“For those who want to leave the island but do not have a vehicle, you may have to hire drivers to take you to your destination. Please make a contract so that they will be able to prove that they have been hired and will be allowed to return and enter Phuket,” V’Gov Supoj said.
“For those who haven’t found any vehicle with which to leave, at this stage we do not have any measures to help them. We need to have a meeting to find the best solution for this,” he added.
Of note, the ban on all interprovincial bus services 300km or longer remains in place, but minivan services for journeys shorter than 300mk are allowed.
“If your booking is to allow you to leave in the evening, please plan your journey to avoid breaking the nightly curfew [from 10pm to 4am,” V/Gov Supoj said.
The information each person provides in the online form or to their village chief when registering will be forwarded to the provincial governor for their destination, V/Gov Supoj said.
“We are allowing people to go back home as some are unemployed and unable to bear the high cost of living in Phuket,” V/Gov Supoj explained.
“We have only a small number of foreigners who have registered to leave the island. Migrant laborers from neighboring countries must contact their consulate or embassy if they want to go back to their home countries,” he added.
V/Gov Supoj reminded people that once they reach their home province, they must observe a self-quarantine at home for 14 days.
“As for allowing people to enter Phuket, we still have no plan for that as we need to manage our people in the province first,” he said.