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Phuket officials ramp up COVID-19 screening at bridge, airport

Phuket officials ramp up COVID-19 screening at bridge, airport

PHUKET: Following the order from Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, officers at the Phuket Check Point in Tha Chatchai today began checking all arrivals suspected of being infected with COVID-19.

tourismtransporthealthCOVID-19Coronavirus
By The Phuket News

Monday 21 December 2020, 06:08PM


The Phuket Check Point at the northern tip of the island, is the only way onto Phuket by road from the mainland.

Governor Narong yesterday ordered all officials to ramp up COVID-19 protection measures following the outbreak in Samut Sakhon, on the outskirts of Bangkok, where more than 600 people have tested positive for the virus.

Thalang District Chief Suwit Suriyawong this morning joined Tha Chatchai Police and health officials in scanning the temperatures of people arriving on the island.

Mr Suwit told The Phuket News that officers were not just focussing on Myanmar nationals arriving in Phuket.

“We are checking the temperatures and travel plans of all Thai residents to see if they are arriving from any risk areas,” he said.

Mr Suwit said he was present to observe offieres checking arrivals at 9am.

“The officers will now check new arrivals 24 hours,” he said.

Mr Suwit added that all migrant worker camps in Thalang District will be checked by health officers.

“We are checking every labour camp in Thalang District. Please do not worry. I can confirm that Phuket is safe from COVID-19,” he said.

Phuket International Airport General Manager Thanee Chuangchoo told The Phuket News today that COVID-19 protection measures are in effect.

Mr Thanee refuted reports that officers at Phuket airport had become lax in enforcing the COVID-19 protection measures.

“We have already set up points for checking [arrivals]. Some people have said that the airport is not strict, but right now we are 100% strict on screening all domestic arrivals at Phuket International Airport. Do not blame us,” he said.

At the time of giving this quote, Mr Thanee was unaware that The Phuket News had received direct reports from travellers arriving at Phuket airport from Bangkok yesterday saying that they were not tested for high temperatures and even checked to ensure they had registered on the Thai Chana app on landing.

Mr Thanee urged people to follow the instructions posted on the official Airports of Thailand branch for Phuket International Airport (AoT Phuket) Facebook page.

The instructions, a repeat of the official requirements issued when domestic flights were allowed to return to Phuket, were posted at 2:28pm today.

“Phuket International Airport has issued strict important preventive measures for passengers, employees and outsourced personnel.

“First, wear a face mask at all times while in the airport area. Second, complete the travel declaration form via the AoT Airports application and register on the Thai Chana platform. Third, passengers inbound to Phuket also must not have a body temperature higher than 37.3°C.

“Airport staff have stepped up their regular cleaning and sanitising of all touchpoints, such as escalator handrails and luggage cart handles, etc. Also hand sanitiser dispensers have been placed throughout the airport. Passengers should arrive at the airport at least 1-2 hours before departure times,” the post said.

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