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Phuket officials ramp up COVID restrictions

Phuket officials ramp up COVID restrictions

PHUKET: Phuket officials have ramped up COVID-19 protection measures with a new order mandating that all domestic arrivals from anywhere in the country must present evidence that they have tested negative for COVID-19 in order to be allowed into the province.

By The Phuket News

Monday 19 July 2021, 11:03AM

The new order was issued yesterday (July 18), and published online after 9pm last night.

The new order is marked to come into effect on July 20, effectively at midnight tonight.

The move to ramp up the COVID protection measures follows a meeting chaired by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew yesterday, where the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee agreed to ramp up protection measures from COVID being brought onto the island.

The decision to increase COVID measures followed more infections being found on the island despite elevated measures brought into effect on July 15 (last Thursday), Governor Narong explained.

The new infections were mostly among people who had recently arrived on the island, he said.

Also, the number of new infections confirmed each day has risen above “specified standards”, he added.

Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong explained several of the key measures at another meeting held late yesterday.

Under the new order, all arrivals (starting midnight tonight) must be fully vaccinated or arrive to enter the province within 90 days of being discharged from medical care from recovering from COVID-19.

In terms of arrivals being deemed fully vaccinated, Vice Governor Piyapong said that required the arrival  to have received two injections of the Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccines, or at least one injection of the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, at least 14 days before arriving to enter the provinces.

However, regardless of whether the arrival was vaccinated or had recovered from COVID-19, all arrivals must present results from an RT--PCR test or a rapid antigen test issued in the past seven days confirming that the arrival is not infected, he said.

Of note, Dr Chalermpong on Friday confirmed that test results from home test kits would not be accepted by officers screening arrivals wanting to enter Phuket.

Under the order, all children aged 6-18 must have tested negative for COVID-19, just like anyone else. The requirements do not apply to children under 6 years old.

Vice Governor Piyapong also announced that the checkpoint onto the island will be closed to all vehicles from 11pm to 4am.

The only exception to the overnight inbound traffic ban were government officials and other staff and personnel conducting urgent business who had express permission from their supervisor, he said.

Although under the order, it is not clear whether the same rules apply for people wanting to leave Phuket, Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong told The Phuket News this morning, “There are no requirements in order to leave the island, but we would prefer that people in Phuket just stay in Phuket for time the being.”


The order specifically mentions that all people who live in Phuket or stay on the island to work ‒ in order to leave the island and to be allowed back on the island ‒ must present proof of vaccination OR a negative test result to enter the island.

They ALSO need to present a form that has been signed by an official. 

The form can be seen here.

CBRE Phuket

The form must be signed by an appropriate official at a local government office, such as District Office or local municipality, or local administration organisation (OrBorTor).

Neither the form nor the order defines which officers are deemed to be “relevant government officials”.

Vice Governor Piyapong told The Phuket News this morning, “The decision to introduce the form is primarily for Thais only, but if foreigners apply for the form [signed permission] that would be good too.

“It is up to the local administrative authority [for where the foreigner is staying] to decide whether or not to apply the requirement to foreigners.

“Regardless, foreigners must be vaccinated and have tested negative for COVID-19 in order to leave and come back onto the island,” he said.


Vice Governor Piyapong yesterday also pointed out that starting tomorrow (July 20), all restaurants must cease serving alcohol or allowing alcohol to be consumed on the premises from 9pm.

All shopping malls and shopping centres must also close at 9pm.

Convenience stores that normally operate 24-hours must close at 11pm and are allowed to reopen at 4am, Vice Governor Piyapong said.

Further public gatherings for activities that are permitted by authorities are now limited to 150 people, he added.

Under the order, all pubs, bars, karaoke venues and other kinds of entertainment venues, as well as venues for gambling, cock fighting, fish fighting, boxing and other similar places, are to remain closed.

Department stores, community malls, and other similar places must be closed at 9pm and the number of customers must be limited. Promotional events remain banned and kids amusement zones must remain closed. 

Sport stadiums, gyms and fitness centers can open as normal, but snooker and billiards venues are restricted to being open from 3pm to 9pm only.

Internet cafes must close at 9pm, but movie theaters, theme parks and waterparks can open as normal, except common-touch “playthings” must be open only 8am to 8pm. 

Gathering for drinking in public areas remains prohibited.

People are to refrain from holding any celebrations and similar events, except traditional events that can not be postponed, such as funerals, weddings, ordinations and other religious ceremonies.

Government officers and private company staff are suggested to work from home to reduce the risk of infection. Officers leaving the island is prohibited unless there is an urgent or necessary reason, and such officers must be approved by their office chief. 

Filming can be conducted with not more than 150 participants, the order noted.

All officers and company staff must strictly follow the disease control measures, the order said.

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PAsh | 25 September 2021 - 20:25:54

Madness.  Jow to ruina country in case someone gets a slight cough. 

Christy Sweet | 21 July 2021 - 19:28:38

Great example of presumptive response there, Mav.  I'll be merely passing through MY to sell a car registered there, then onward to adventures west. And no I don't eat tortured, frightened animals and  can certainly live happily without  ethyl alcohol in my blood. Can't you? 

maverick | 21 July 2021 - 15:56:10

Safe travels Christy enjoy your new life in Malaysia - from experience having lived there for 2 years I am sure you will enjoy it - hope you don’t like pork or alcohol :-) 

ematt | 21 July 2021 - 14:24:08

Wow - Kurt and Christy are certainly cranked up on this one!

Christy Sweet | 21 July 2021 - 13:04:44

I got an SMS to make an appointment, went to the site and 'registration pending'. Done with  Immigration's capricious flaming hoops of TM--whatever,  up your yang BS. They have even visited me at my home of 9 years  I do not live in a HOP INN in Trang but, I do plan to stay one night there ON MY WAY OUT of Hassle Land back to Malaysia.  

Kurt | 21 July 2021 - 10:11:14

@treasurefish, Thai Officialdom loves to make complicated contradicting requirements/orders. Their trick is, to hide behind it, avoid responsibilities, make it themselve easy to finger point to other departments and remain smiling docile. Expect a functional helping hand of them in their messing up is a dream.

Kurt | 21 July 2021 - 10:01:12

@mgb, I have been now twice to Immigration Phuket Town ( 2nd floor) with printed 'PhuketMustWin' registration. 2nd time they wrote something in pc and told me, "You are in, all ok, will receive sms for vaccination". Well, until now no sms. Immigration officer told me that more than 70 retired persons already came with same print out/registering problem.

mgb | 21 July 2021 - 06:52:32

Patong is and always be a rip-off area. I used laguna holiday club. Worth the extra for the quality.

mgb | 21 July 2021 - 04:57:40

You can leave and return to the island if vaccinated, I can not even confirm if my registration  for a vaccination is being processed.  

skorchio | 20 July 2021 - 20:47:44

So there are new measures to control covid coming onto the island domestically? Yet the number one problem with the existing protection measures - the less than 7 DAYS OLD NEGATIVE TEST - is still in force. What use is a test that is 6.5 days old? This is so effing ridiculous. Whats worse is that this is recognised by the PPHO as the number 1 risk to the island's infection rate, yet its still ...

Christy Sweet | 20 July 2021 - 19:47:47

Ms Stef pm'd me today,  she is free tomorrow !! Welcome to your new home Stefanie. Now be careful on that scooter, world's most dangerous drivers are careening on Phuket.  

treasurefish | 20 July 2021 - 14:01:15

I give up.  I can't keep up with all these complicated requirements that seem to change every week. I'm headed to Greece. 

Kurt | 20 July 2021 - 13:07:36

@Christy Sweet, the ALQ hotel of Ms Stefanie is in Patong. She has no internet, a sim card was promised by that hotel, remember?

Christy Sweet | 20 July 2021 - 00:53:26

Ms. Stefanie has not posted on her page in  4 days. Did they cut off her internet?  Who in Rawai can check on her by yelling up from the ground floor?   

Kurt | 20 July 2021 - 00:17:33

...The scamming quarantine expenses make that after it is finished, ripped off tourists run away. And Phuket Officials think thick skinned that 'sandbox' has a chance of success? No way. Think about story Stefanie, from good SHA Rawai hotel (B15,000), kicked, on her own,  to a shabby middle class ALQ hotel, plastic box food, no internet, no toilet paper, for...B52,000 !!

Kurt | 19 July 2021 - 16:43:53

From the beginning, 'Sandbox' not even properly started up. Needed or not, all rules/orders are not promoting having a Phuket holiday. There is here nothing to 'holiday'. Tourists just experience restrictions, costly 14 days Q-accommodations, cold in plastic wrapped cheap meals. No beer/alcohol in room. Holiday people have budgets. The scamming quarantine expenses make that after q...

kalada | 19 July 2021 - 16:28:55 now 1 Pfizer jab is enough????

DeKaaskopp | 19 July 2021 - 16:24:25

"the number of infected cases has risen about specified standards" What are the specified standards ?  The "one" official case for today ? What a pink shirted clown !

Xi_Virus | 19 July 2021 - 16:11:24

Incompetence and Stupidity is more dangerous than the virus!

And where is Dr. KuXak? KuXak ... you ... s* ... *h ... don't you dare to let us down now !#$^

jurgphuket | 19 July 2021 - 15:21:33

I think that some of the useless new orders like Alcohol restrictions, closing bars, attractions etc. will definitely stop the success of the sandbox.

Kurt | 19 July 2021 - 13:55:11

All that 'ordering' is just obedience training of population. Dare to say that the chinese vaccines not protect against Delta variant, and not any longer will be seen as of any value. 'Order' to remove them from the vaccines list in relation with entering Phuket. That would be a constructive action. Don't hang in on 'snooker times', etc.  :-)   Who takes such serious?

Christy Sweet | 19 July 2021 - 13:46:01

A mere 2 week complete nationwide shutdown a month ago  could have avoided all of this but nooooo we had to bow to capitalist's demands regarding their god -money and the damage will be far greater. Corruption on the Sinovac is a direct cause- will anyone ever be investigated? Nope. Welcome to Myanmar 2.0 

Kurt | 19 July 2021 - 13:36:29

Stop transferring Covid patients all the way by ambulance from dark red zones like BKK to Phuket. Such doing is not logic, and complete against any international quarantine rules/recommendation. More important than all ruling Governor now initiates, which is just cosmetically. And, vaccinate foreigners, living here, who registered and still not received approval/invitation.

Christy Sweet | 19 July 2021 - 13:33:32

Good news no docs needed to GTF OFF the island and but, bet the rules at the checkpoint   will change hourly and as  the norm depending upon the blood sugar level of the individual harassing you at the particular moment. 

CaptainJack69 | 19 July 2021 - 13:31:22

More needlessly confusing rubbish.

It sounds like Phuket residents can leave and re-enter with proof of vaccination OR a clear test (so no change there?) but have to provide BOTH if they don't happen to have a Thai citizens ID card. Apparently a little piece of plastic alters the micro-biological processes happening inside a persons body.

This is confusing enough with the unabashed racis...


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