He has also asked for help in staffing the ports for processing arrivals by sea after the July 1 reopening, and asked for the Department of Land Transport to take steps to prevent price gouging by tourist transport drivers after tourists are allowed to return.
Under the ‘Phuket Tourism Sandbox’ model, fully vaccinated international tourists are to be allowed to arrive in Phuket and stay on the island without any period of mandatory quarantine.
“Right now, we have 21 more days left until July 1. About 100,000 people are fully vaccinated with two injections, while about 200,000 already have had their first vaccine injection,” Governor Narong explained this morning (June 9).
“About 150,000 are getting their first injection this month. We need about 130,000 people to be vaccinated, in order to complete 70% of people on the island,” he added.
According to a report for June 8 posted earlier today by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket), so far 69% of the target 466,587 people on the island to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity have received at least their first injection.
The report marked that so far 322,373 people in Phuket had received their first injection, with a further 98,589 having received two injections.
So far 388,586 people in Phuket have registered to be vaccinated, noted the report.
Phuket officials have maintained that 70% of the island’s resident population must be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.
“For the length of time that tourists need to be in Phuket before travelling to other provinces, at first we proposed to the CCSA [that the minimum required stay on the island] to be only seven days, but they want them to stay 14 days [before being allowed to leave Phuket],” Governor Narong said.
“All details will be announced through the Royal Gazette after approval [has been granted] by the CCSA and Cabinet,” he added.
“From now on, we will upgrade Phuket to be ‘New Phuket’. We must have officers from the PPHO [Phuket Provincial Public Health Office], Phuket Immigration, Phuket Customs and the Department of Employment to stand by at the Phuket Checkpoint to screen people before entering Phuket,” Governor Narong noted.
“For sea ports, we must also have officers at the popular ports, including Chalong Pier, Rassada Pier and Ao Por Pier. We still need to discuss the measures for the ports,” he said.
“The Phuket government has asked the Digital Economy Promotion Agency [Depa] under the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (M-DES) for a budget or a team of staff to help create a tracking app for tourists which is able to connect to the databases of three offices: Phuket Immigration, the PPHO and the Employment Office,” he explained.
“We have also asked the Department of Land Transport under the Ministry of Transport to set up the transport structure to connect land, sea and air transport in Phuket in order to solve the problem of overcharging fares,” he added.
“The TAT [Tourism Authority of Thailand] prediction that 129,000 tourists will come to Phuket within three months after July 1 is likely to come true. And I also want the TAT to attract domestic tourists to Phuket to boost the island economy,” Governor Narong said.
“We are trying to attract people to Phuket and at the same time control the spread of the disease [COVID-19], as well as move Phuket forward, sustainably,” he continued.
“If there is another outbreak of the virus [on the island], we have planned how we will manage it,” he assured.
“When the island’s economy improves, a lot of workers from other provinces will come to Phuket. I want [business] operators to strictly screen their staff and allow only vaccinated or tested staff to work,” Governor Narong said.
“I want workers from other provinces to move their civil registration to Phuket [change their registered place of residence], so that we will receive more budget to develop our hospitals and other infrastructures,” he added.
“If you have any questions or suggestions, please call our hotline 084-1914151, or you can text through Facebook: Governor Narong,” Governor Narong concluded.