The videos were posted on the Ministry of Interior Phuket office official Facebook page Phuketanticovid19 last night (Feb 3).
“Everything is almost back to normal as seen in every part of Phuket right now. Shopping malls, fitness gyms, pubs and bars are all operating with normal open and close times,” Vice Governor Piyapong said.
“However, all people still have to follow the COVID-19 preventive measures to prevent any new infections as the virus is still spreading,” he added.
“There are five important aspects to talk about in the implementation of COVID-19 surveillance, including inspections of migrant workers due to the political situation in Myanmar that may result in the movement of people into the Phuket,” he said.
"First of all, we ourselves need to be aware and to follow strictly the COVID-19 Prevention Measures D-M-H-T-T, according to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
“D-M-H-T-T” is the widely publicized protocol Social Distancing, Mask Wearing, Hand Washing, Temperature Check and Thai Chana.
“Arrivals in Phuket from other provinces are asked to comply with the Phuket’s surveillance measures, and register on gophuget.com,” V/Gov Piyapong added.
“Establishments can open but they have to assess the level of risks in areas where gatherings might be found such as pubs, bars, markets and department stores. Places such as these are therefore asked to have the Thai Chana app for screening people before entering the place.
“The Public Health Office is arranging to check people in pubs and bars by randomly inspecting employees, as pubs and bars are considered as the most risky area where we need to be careful.
“There will be random checks of migrant workers, although all migrant workers in Phuket now have already been inspected. But after a while, we will have another random check for sure,” V/Gov Piyaphong said.
“The ongoing political situation in Myanmar might have some impact on the movement of people into Phuket. The Phuket Provincial Government has prepared to inspect more migrant workers with higher surveillance measures across the island to create more confidence among the people in Phuket as well,” V/G Piyaphong also noted.
“The most important thing is to make sure all people are informed and aware of the directives. Please do not ignore any information, even though measures are now relaxed – and please do not for one minute forget that we are in the midst of a disease outbreak, so we still need to be careful and cautious,” he said.
Absence of clarity
However, V/Gov Piyapong avoided explaining exactly what was required of new arrivals, notably that a 14-day mandatory quarantine remained in effect for all people arriving from Samut Sakhon – but only for people arriving from Samut Sakhon.
People arriving from Samut Sakhon must also show official documents to prove their travel was necessary. They are also required to enter a health screening system for further instructions by the local health authorities.
People arriving from anywhere else in the country only need to have the Mor Chana app installed, register online via www.gophuget.com, follow all COVID preventative measures and only self-monitor for signs of infection.
V/Gov Piyapong also avoided clarifying whether the B20,000 fine for not wearing a face mask in public was still in effect.
Of note, in addition to observing the DMHTT precautions, overnight visitors to Phuket must avoid public places, as noted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
That was another point omitted by V/Gov Piyapong in the videos.
The Phuket News notes that, with the exception of the face mask fine and the requirement to follow COVID-prevetation measures, nearly all the provincial COVID regulations target venue operators and business service providers. The full order currently in effect was announced on Jan 26.
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 18 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations B.E. 2548 (2005), which invokes a penalty of up to two years imprisonment or up to B40,000 or both, the order warned.