Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew issued the new requirements through a provincial order yesterday (July 11).
The new requirements will come into effect on Thursday (July 15) and remain in effect until July 31.
The new requirements do not apply to children under 6 years old traveling with parents.
Arrivals from ‘Red’ or ‘Dark Red’ zones
From Thursday, all arrivals from red or dark red-zones must be ‘fully vaccinated’ (or received one injection of the AstraZeneca vaccine) at least 14 days before arriving, or they must have been discharged from hospital from recovering from COVID-19 no more than 90 days before arriving.
However, from thursday, they MUST ALSO provide evidence that they tested negative for the virus through an RT-PCR test or a Rapid Antigen Test no more than seven days before travelling to Phuket.
There will be no exceptions, said Lt Col Kraisorn Chomchuen of the Wichit Police who was on duty at the Phuket Check Point yesterday (July 11). Of note, Wichit subdistrict has the highest number of local infections on the island, with 107 infections since Apr 3.
The mandatory test requirement will apply to all people arriving from the 10 ‘dark red’ “highest control and restricted” areas and the 24 ‘red’ “highest control” provinces, listed in the provincial order as:
Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Sakhon, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Ayutthaya, Chachoengsao, Suphan Buri, Saraburi, Chainat, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Sawan, Ang Thong, Udon Thani, Prachinburi, Sing Buri, Lop Buri, Samut Songkhram, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri, Rayong, Nakhon Ratchasima, Tak, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Krabi and Ranong.
Arrivals from ‘Yellow’ or ‘Orange’ zones
For people who start their journey to Phuket from the remaining zones or provinces designated as ‘yellow’ or ‘orange’ COVID-control areas ‒ including Phang Nga ‒ the same rules of entry currently in effect today will still apply after Thursday.
As such, all arrivals from yellow or orange zones must be ‘fully vaccinated’ (or received one injection of the AstraZeneca vaccine) at least 14 days before arriving, or they must have been discharged from hospital from recovering from COVID-19 no more than 90 days before arriving.
Alternatively, instead of proving the above, they may provide evidence that they tested negative for the virus through an RT-PCR test or an Antigen Test no more than seven days before travelling to Phuket.
COMPLY OR GO HOME
Lt Col Kraisorn explained that there are about 2,000-3,000 vehicles coming through the Phuket Check Point onto the island every day.
“We have found some arrivals who did not meet the entry requirements [currently in effect], and we did not let them onto the island,” he said.
“We also needed to explain to them about the necessity to strictly follow the rules,” he added.
“We just had two women who came by bus who had received their vaccination injection less than 14 days before arriving,” he said, citing one example of people being refused onto Phuket.
“For arrivals who come by bus but do not meet the requirements, we have officers from the Phuket Land Transport Office [PLTO] to help them find any vehicle to return home,” Lt Col Kraisorn noted.
“From July 15, we need to check documents for both vaccination and test results for arrivals from 34 provinces [the 10 dark red and 20 red zone provinces]. We are ready to check them strictly,” Lt Col Kraisorn assured.
“Please closely follow updates on the entry requirements and prepare yourselves before coming, otherwise you will not be allowed to enter the island,” he said.
An officer from the Phuket Public Health Office [PPHO] stationed at the checkpoint explained, “Please make sure that you take an RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen test ‒ not an antibody test ‒ because we accept only the two testing methods.
“Some people presented their antibody test results and were denied entry to Phuket, and we needed to tell them to have a new test somewhere,” the officer said.
An officer from the PLTO noted, “Most of those who have been denied entering Phuket are those who have received an vaccination injection of AstraZeneca less than 14 days before arriving.
“For bus passengers, we have told bus companies to inform and examine their customers before selling tickets. However, right now buses from Bangkok, Betong, Khon Kaen and Pattaya have already been suspended,” he added.