Among the final pages of the 37-page order issued last night is the confirmation that “all businesses and enterprises and tour companies that are legally registered under the Tourist Business and Tour Guides Act of B.E.2551 (2008) and other similar business such as tour agents, services regarding room rental, car or boat rental, companies providing transportation by land or sea, scuba diving companies or other recreational business for example” are allowed to open.
Mr Wiwat explained that all people entering or leaving Phuket by boat are to notify officials of their travel plans through the Phuket Provincial Police PhuketSmartCheck-in app,as explained by Phuket Provincial Police Maj Gen Rungrote Thakurapunyasiri earlier today.
The online form for registering travel by boat can be found here.
Mr Wiwat explained that although the form asks for specific details such as the times when the person will be entering or leaving Phuket, people are not to worry and to just complete the form to the best of their understanding, especially with tour boats that technically exit Phuket waters and return on the same day.
“There will be no legal consequences if the times entered are not entirely accurate. This is just for health officials’ records in case they need to track down a patient’s previous movements and travel history later,” he said.
All boat operators are required to enforce social distancing rules on their boats, and comply with other health regulations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Mr Wiwat said.
“All seats on the boats must be sanitised regularly and passengers must be seated to occupy every second seat,” he said.
“All passengers will have their body temperature checked before they will be allowed to board a boat, and they must provide identification and travel details to officials before they will be allowed to join their trip,” he added.
Mr Wiwat said that all 24 piers in Phuket were now allowed to resume operations, but added that he expected very few ferries and tour boats to resume services immediately.
“Today was just the first day, and very few people were boarding boats today. I think that will remain the same for at least the coming week,” he said.
“If the number of passengers wanting to travel on boats grows quickly and becomes a problem in the near future, we will look at our options of what we can do about this then,” Mr Wiwat added.