The news came through a notice signed by outgoing Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana on Monday (June 15), but became public only yesterday (June 18) when posted on the official Facebook page of the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket).
The notice, addressed to the Phuket Provincial Police Commander, stated that registration to enter or leave Phuket was to be “postponed” from June 16 (Tuesday) until further notice.
The notice also explained that the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee, through its authority under Section 9 of the Emergency Decree 2005, had the authority to introduce regulations controlling people wanting to travel into and out of Phuket, and that they must register before passing through the Phuket Check Point.
“However, for now, the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming under control. The Prime Minister as the head of Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) had ordered the Ministry of Interior to set up regulations for interprovincial travel and for police to facilitate the [ensuing] traffic,” the notice read.
“Additionally, the central government is likely to stop enforcing the Emergency Decree soon. The end of enforcement will also be the end of the Phuket checking measures at the checkpoint,” the notice added.
Of note, the Phuket Provincial Police have yet to post any announcements that the gophuget.com registration is no longer required. Their most recent announcement regarding registering to enter or leave Phuket was on Sunday, when they launched a new QR code for people to scan to register quickly through through gophuget.com platform.
Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Rungrote Thakurapunyasiri this morning declined to comment on the notice to cease the gophuget.com registration, instead directing The Phuket News to check with the new Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew.
However, as today is his first day as Governor of Phuket, Governor Narong has so far been unavailable.
Phuket Vice Governor Supoj Rotreuang Na Nongkhai was willing to comment, and clarified, "To follow the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions for interprovincial travel, Phuket Provincial Police should announce that the registration through the PhuketSmartCheckIn app or the website www.gophuget.com and other ways [of registering to enter or leave Phuket] has been postponed from June 16 until the further notice.
“So, since June 16, people no longer need to register their travel details through www.gophuget.com. Instead, they can just use Thai Chana [web platform],” Vice Governor Supoj said.
However, V/Gov Supoj also explained that the Phuket Provincial Government on Monday submitted an official request with Ministry of Interior officials in Bangkok for provincial officials to be able to use gophuget.com after the Emergency Decree has been lifted, but only as a way for collecting information as part of the strategy to make Phuket a “Smart City”.
“If there are any developments on this, the Phuket Government will inform people,” he said.
“But if the Ministry of Interior allows, www.gophuget.com may be used immediately,” he noted.
Regardless, V/Gov Supoj stressed, “At this stage, the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee agrees that only Thai Chana be used to record people’s details [for identifying their location].”
Of note, Thanee Chuangchoo, General Manager at Phuket International Airport, earlier this week confirmed to The Phuket News that people arriving and leaving the island through the airport do not need to register through the gophuget platform.
People leaving the island must already register their travel details through the AoT Airports app [available on Google Play and on Apple’s App Store], and people leaving and those arriving on the island both must register their presence at the airport through the Thai Chana platform, he said.
Also, Airports of Thailand management at Phuket airport (AoT Phuket) have confirmed that people arriving on domestic arrivals at Phuket International Airport do not have to observe a 14-day self-quarantine after arriving on the island.