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Phuket rapid test on arrival: Foreigners to pay, Thais tested free

Phuket rapid test on arrival: Foreigners to pay, Thais tested free

PHUKET: Thais facing mandatory rapid tests on arriving in Phuket from any of the 17 ‘red zone’ provinces will be tested for free, while foreigners will have to pay for the compulsory test.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 21 April 2021, 07:07PM

The test will cost B500 each time, confirmed an official notice posted by Phuket provincial authorities this afternoon (Apr 21).

Phuket Vice Governor Vikrom Jakthee explained in a morning briefing video posted earlier today that the compulsory testing will come into effect tomorrow (Thursday, Apr 22).

Under the latest order, issued by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew yesterday, all arrivals from the 17 ‘red zone’ provinces who are unable to prove that they are fully vaccinated or unable to prove they have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours before arriving must be cleared by an ‘Antigen Rapid Test’ before being allowed onto the island.

The compulsory test does not apply to any people arriving from the 59 other provinces, officially designated “orange zones”.

V/Gov Vikrom explained today that initally the test was to cost B300 per person.

“At first, for the rapid testing, we released an order that people taking the rapid test have to pay B300, but our PPHO Chief, Vachira Phuket Hospital Director and PPAO President spoke with the Secretary-General of National Health Security Office (NHSO), who has approved to provide free test for Thais people,” V/Gov Vikrom said.

However, no explanation was given as to why, when Thais were also to pay for the test the cost was B300, and now that only foreigners will be required to pay, the “cost” of the test has risen by more than 60%, to B500.

“Right now, Phuket has only flights from the airports located in red zone provinces, so all arrivals at the airport must face a rapid test upon arrival,” V/Gov Vikrom said.

Of note, the notice posted in English today said that arrivals from red zone provinces who were unable to prove they were fully vaccinated AND tested negative for the virus within 72 hours of arriving would be required to take the rapid test.

However, the actual order signed by Governor Narong posted yesterday and the Thai version of the notice posted today clearly state that arrivals from red zone provinces who were unable to prove they were fully vaccinated OR prove that they tested negative for the virus within 72 hours of arriving would be required to take the rapid test.

The Phuket News has yet to confirm which definition is deemed to be accurate by Phuket officials.

As for arrivals from the 17 red zone provinces arriving in Phuket by land, V/Gov Vikrom said. “Arrivals from only the 17 zone provinces must do a rapid test at the Phuket Check Point [at Tha Chatchai], except if they have been fully vaccinated with two jabs or swab tested within 72 hours.”

“For those who come by buses or vans, we have prepared a building for rapid testing in order to reduce congestion,” he said.

“Every person [arriving in Phuket] must register on, install the MorChana app and report to officers of an Emergency Operation Center (EOC),” he added

During the briefing, Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Dr Chalermpong  Sakontapol assured that the rapid test to be used was highly accurate.

“The rapid test is a standard test with high accuracy. The test has about 90% accuracy for finding the virus. It produces only 10% false negatives, which are people who are actually positive but the test shows negative. The 10% is a very low number. The test has been used in some provinces,” he said.

“Medical staff have to do a nasal swab test for arrivals and drop the sample on the tester. The testing alone will take about 15 minutes, but it may take up to 30 minutes for the whole process,” Dr Chalermpong added.


“The NHSO has spent about B40 million to support the rapid testing in Phuket,” he noted.


V/Gov Vikrom also explained that the ban on diving and snorkelling had also caused some issues.

“We have received a lot of questions about the prohibition of snorkeling and diving. I want to explain that we have to give such an order because during this outbreak we have had about 10 cases of infections where they people infected had gone diving together,” he said.

“However, at this stage, you all can get on a boat with social distancing, go to islands and enjoy the beaches. You must avoid using snorkeling equipment together,”  V/Gov Vikrom added.


At last report, this evening (Apr 21), Phuket has had nine new cases of infection officially recognised by provincial health authorities, bringing the total number of confirmed cases of infection to 257.

Among the cases, 250 cases are now in hospitals in Phuket, one case has moved to receive treatment in Bangkok, and six have been discharged, reported the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO).

The PPHO also continues to publicly release timelines of confirmed cases movements so that the public may check whether they are at risk.

The latest timelines, all in Thai language only, cover cases 197-210 (click here).

The PPHO this evening also released an updated map showing the location of confirmed infections across the island. Although the map is dated today, it shows only 248 infections, as follows:

  • Patong - 31 cases
  • Kathu -  22
  • Kamala - 26
  • Wichit -  26
  • Chalong - 17
  • Karon - 4
  • Rawai - 16
  • Talad Yai Phuket Town - 20
  • Talad Neua Phuket Town - 10
  • Rassada - 15
  • Kow Kaew - 7
  • Srisoonthorn - 14
  • Pa Khlok - 3
  • Thepkrasattri - 6
  • Sakhu - 4
  • Mai Khao - 4
  • Cherng Talay - 16


Meanwhile, the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has isused a warning for people who do not follow the disease control measures, as follows.

Medical staff of private hospitals that declined to provide treatment to COVID-19 infected people shall face up to two year imprisonment or up to B40,000 fine or both. 

Medical staff who do not report to the disease control officer after finding an infected case shall be fined up to B20,000. Medical staff must report to the officer within 3 hours after finding any infected case.

Whoever does not give cooperation to disease control officers by not giving their timeline of movements shall be fined up to B20,000, while whoever gives false information of their timeline shall face up to six months imprisonment or a fine of up to B10,000 or both.

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LALALA | 23 April 2021 - 20:23:45

DEK, who tells you I am still in Thailand ?

Christy Sweet | 23 April 2021 - 15:37:40

Sexpats abandon the legions of cheap prostitutes? C'mon, get real. And yes, I consider lovely young women who marry for money to be [the same *], too - only they'll never get a holiday. Also, they have to do housework,  cooking, cleaning, shopping. Yuck. 

* comment edited

DeKaaskopp | 23 April 2021 - 15:08:58

"....should avoid this country" Lala, that gives us a clue about the size of your brain if you still here and all other who dislike Thailand so much.555

LALALA | 22 April 2021 - 18:44:38

The knowledge of Thai Language is irrelevant in this case DEK, its about the general approach Thai society has to foreigners. Only another example why anybody with half a brain should avoid this country if possible.

DeKaaskopp | 22 April 2021 - 16:12:02

Many expats living here for years now barely speak Thai.But at  the same time those serial whiner want the same treatment as Thais.Hahaha! Go home!

Kurt | 22 April 2021 - 15:58:09

@Ematt, I am sorry to say, but this has nothing to do with or foreigners can effort 500 thb, yes or no. The answer is, yes, they can. But please, explain the recent changed policy why Thai not pay and foreigners are 'upgraded to pay' from 300 to 500 thb, so paying for Thai in Thailand? What kind of logic is that when Phuket is screaming for foreign tourists coming to Phuket?

LALALA | 22 April 2021 - 13:37:52

...they simply left LOS for good as there is more value for all kind of spenders elsewhere. This has - not that I give a ... about it - a negative impact on the Thai economy. Have to agree with you on your comment about the Phuket expat community though.

LALALA | 22 April 2021 - 13:35:16

ematt, this is not about money. I make 15-20K USD a month resting and would never pay 500THB for this scam and on top of this risking to be placed in one of this so called field hospitals. The problem is that this shows clearly what Thainess is about, fake smiles and scamming. In this context it is worth to note that the exodus of foreigners out of Phuket already started before covid 19....

ematt | 22 April 2021 - 11:25:00

Firstly, the moaning and complaining chronic malcontents who post here never leave their barstool, let alone flying in and out of Phuket. Secondly, the fact they can’t afford THB 500 tells us all we need to know about their economic circumstances here. 

Fascinated | 22 April 2021 - 11:18:26

@OK- some of us have been here longer than in  our 'home' countries and regard Thailand as out home now thank you very much. It went from 300 for everyone to free for Thais and 500 for foreigners. If you think xenophobia is OK maybe you are the one that should go. 

Kurt | 22 April 2021 - 10:23:05

Phuket inhabitants are desperately waiting for restoring the 'Old Normal' ( foreign tourism). The permanent island foreign community, supporting the present 'left over' Phuket economy, don't deserve to read time after time: "Go back to your own country". Phuket Government should show a bit more graceful thanks to foreign visitors as well. To let them pay for testing T...

Kurt | 22 April 2021 - 10:06:38

Why should foreigners pay for Thai? Now Phuket Government join shameless  taxis, mini vans, infamous dual pricing, ASQ hotels rates (compare them with the BKK ASQ hotels) in tourist scamming. More (few) potential foreign tourists will read this news with aversion and avoid going Phuket. To be taken for a ride so openly, unbelievable.

Timothy | 22 April 2021 - 08:38:43

Mr. OK, perhaps those complaining have been here for a long time and have paid millions in taxes over that time. Not to mention how much money they have invested in Thailand. Maybe we expect Thailand to at least recognize that we live here and do contribute to the economy of the country. Maybe you pay nothing so expect nothing. 

LALALA | 22 April 2021 - 08:08:08

OK-..-.. you should understand that some foreigners in LOS - luckily not myself - are paying taxes there, having jobs and family etc. . This is just another example or racism in LOS and will hopefully go viral so that people understand what this country is about. Fake smiles and foreigner scamming.

Shwe | 22 April 2021 - 04:30:31

another case of rip off the farang

OK-Boomer-Na? | 22 April 2021 - 03:23:57

I knew some farang geezers would complain about 500 baht!  Why should Thailand pay for you?  If you don’t like it, then go back to your home country!

Fascinated | 21 April 2021 - 22:42:12

Another farang tax that will bite them in the backside- great thinking folks. 

charles | 21 April 2021 - 21:42:06

can someone say 2 tier pricing  yet again 

charles | 21 April 2021 - 21:32:08

These guys are just idiots so several cases came out of dive operations, They all take the pink buses down the Chalong pier  which is still running. Does he not understand that diving or snorkeling is an individual event with everyone having their own equipment to use , just tell operators to disinfect gear after each persons use or is he implying that disinfectant doesn't work  

Nasa12 | 21 April 2021 - 20:09:41

As expected , why not 5000 bath for farang or 10.000.

LALALA | 21 April 2021 - 19:45:39

Another example of rip off foreigners in LOS. Wasn't that expected ?


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