The move is hoped to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to the island by crews on board visiting fishing boats, as a vast majority of the crewmen aboard Thai fishing vessels are migrant workers, many of them from Myanmar.
Governor Narong explained in the order that the outbreak of COVID-19 in Samut Sakhon and other provinces posed a threat to health of people on the island, hence the need to regulate which fishing boats were allowed to continue to port in Phuket.
The order also stipulated:
- Crews of fishing boats in Phuket must inform port authorities when entering or departing the port. All boats must return to the same port.
- All fishing boats from other provinces are not allowed to dock at any Phuket ports. Trucks carrying fishing boats to Phuket are also not allowed to enter the province.
- All operators, boat owners, boat captains and crews must strictly follow disease control measures by maintaining social distancing, wearing face masks and washing hands with alcohol-based sanitiser as often as possible.
- The Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command’s Maritime Enforcement Coordination Centre (THAI-MECC Area 3) and the Phuket office of the Marine Department must check ports in Phuket and Phuket’s coastal waters. Other relevant officials are also asked to check the movement of workers from neighboring countries.
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, or under Section 52 of the act, which invokes a penalty of up to one year imprisonment or a fine of up to B100,000 or both, the order noted.
Those found breaching the order will also be charged under Section 9 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations B.E. 2548 (2005), the order warned.
The order was marked to come into effect today (Dec 23) and will remain in effect until further notice, the order explained.