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Phuket to open to domestic tourists, with conditions

Phuket to open to domestic tourists, with conditions

PHUKET: Domestic tourists will be allowed to enter Phuket on holiday from next Wednesday (Sept 8) providing they satisfy certain criteria, including showing proof of hotel or accommodation reservation paid in advance and they must be tested for COVID-19 on Day 5 of their stay if they are staying more than seven days.

COVID-19Coronavirustourismhealth
By The Phuket News

Wednesday 1 September 2021, 11:23AM


The confirmation came through an order revising the conditions for entering Phuket that was issued by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew last night, and posted publicly by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) just before 10pm.

The order is marked to be in effect from today (Sept 1) until Sept 14.

The order extends the “island isolation” protocol, prohibiting all people except those listed as exemptions from being allowed onto the island.

Under one of the new sections added to the existing provisions was one allowing domestic tourists onto Phuket.

“People who come to Phuket for tourism and have proof of hotel or accommodation reservation which must be paid in advance. If tourists stay longer than 7 days, they must be tested for COVID-19 on the 5th day of staying in Phuket. The tourists are responsible for the expenses,” said Section 16 (see below).

Meanwhile, foriegn tourists who have entered Phuket under the Sandbox or the ‘Sandbox 7+7’ schemes have also been added to the list of exemptions, allowing them to re-enter Phuket as long as they satisfy the same criteria required of any of the other exemptions.

They  must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by having received two doses of the Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine, or one injection of the Sinovac vaccine and one injection of the AstraZeneca vaccine, or at least one injection of the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 14 days before arriving.

Also, in order to be allowed into Phuket, all arrivals must present results of an RT-PCR test or antigen test performed by a medical facility within 72 hours of arriving proving that they are not infected.

Alternatively, arrivals must have been discharged from medical care for recovering from COVID-19 no more than 90 days before arriving.

The revised order also allowed for any people to return to Phuket after enjoying a day trip to another ‘Sandbox pilot area’, such as Khao Lak, Phi Phi Island or the Koh Yao islands east of Phuket.

“Travelers who travel under the tourism pilot project (7+7 Extension) or those who travel outside of Phuket by sea to other pilot provinces on a one-day trip. with boat drivers, guides and crew to be able to travel to Phuket with complete vaccination results according to the specified criteria by testing for COVID-19 with ATK (Antigen Test Kit) method every week,” said the new section.

Of note, the section used the Thai words “ทุกสัปดาห์”, literally translating as “every week”, leaving it not clear whether this was intended to mean that people would be allowed to re-enter Phuket if could prove they had tested negative for COVID-19 “in the past week”.

 

The new provisions allowing Sandbox tourists, Sandbox 7+7 tourists and any day-trippers to re-enter Phuket were not marked with any deferred active date, meaning they are allowed to re-enter Phuket under the conditions given from today (Sept 1).

The full list of exemptions allowed to enter Phuket was given in the order as:

1) Medical ambulance, emergency patient, lifeguard, rescue (vehicles and personnel)

2) Transport of medicines, materials, medical supplies, medical chemicals

3) Transport of consumer goods, agricultural products, livestock, animal feed

4) Transport of cooking gas fuel

5) Transport for banks, money, financial institutions

6) Transport of parcels and publications

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7) People who need to travel through international channels Phuket International Airport (must have a ticket of the travel date only)

8) Persons who have been ordered or have a written assignment from an agency to perform duties in the prevention and control of disease in Phuket

9) People who have been ordered by government agencies to go or perform urgent missions in Phuket

10) People who have been registered on  house registration documents or work in the Phuket area on a regular basis (must have proof of documents)**

11) Transport of construction materials, machinery and spare parts used for maintenance. Only used in the implementation of projects to solve flood problems or projects of the state, state enterprises, other government agencies in solving problems of people’s troubles or in case of urgent need.

12) Visitors following the tourism pilot area opening project Phuket Sandbox and vehicle drivers (requires confirmation document)

13) Persons who have been ordered by government agencies to go or perform urgent missions in Phuket

14) People who have a need to take an international flight at Phuket International Airport. They must present officers at the checkpoint the flight booking document which must have the flight date on the entry date only. 

15) Persons who have made an appointment according to the court, public prosecutor or investigating officer with clear documentary evidence that if postponing the appointment will seriously damage the consideration process. An appointment for urgent registration of rights and juristic acts that cannot be avoided, otherwise, it will cause damage to the parties or greatly affect the economy.

16) People who come to Phuket for tourism and have proof of hotel or accommodation reservation which must be paid in advance. If tourists stay longer than 7 days, they must be tested for COVID-19 on the 5th day of staying in Phuket. The tourists are responsible for the expenses 

17) Any other cases that have practical problems that need to be resolved and ordered by the incident commander at the Phuket Check Point who shall have the authority to consider on a case by case basis.

All of the above (exemptions) must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by having received two doses of the Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine, or one injection of the Sinovac vaccine and one injection of the AstraZeneca vaccine, or at least one injection of the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 14 days before arriving.

Also, in order to be allowed into Phuket, all arrivals must present results of an RT-PCR test or antigen test performed by a medical facility within 72 hours of arriving proving that they are not infected.

Alternatively, arrivals must have been discharged from medical care for recovering from COVID-19 no more than 90 days before arriving.

Students under 18 years of age who are unable to receive vaccination against COVID-19 and need to travel to Phuket to study must present documents confirming which educational institution they attend and that they need to travel to Phuket to attend classes, and they must present a document issued by the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) confirming that they have tested negative for the virus with a certificate for COVID-19 testing to be valid for no more than one month each time.

People arriving in Phuket to receive their second vaccination injection must present results of an RT-PCR test or antigen test performed by a medical facility within 72 hours of arriving proving that they are not infected.

Also of note, all visitors entering Phuket must register their travel details through the gophuget.com website ‒ and must present the QR code issued to them to the Communicable Disease Control Officer at the checkpoint before entering Phuket.

All arrivals must install the Mor Chana application on their phones and enable location sharing through the app.

The Phuket Check Point at Tha Chatchai, guarding the only road onto Phuket, will remain closed to all traffic except for emergencies from 11pm to 4am each night, the order confirmed.


** CORRECTION: This section was erroneously omitted in the original report. The error is sincerely regretted.

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Jor12 | 02 September 2021 - 17:07:42

@kurt.. are you aware of the meaning of "tourist" as stated in the article?

agogohome | 02 September 2021 - 16:00:29

@CaptainJack69 That's not true at all! A driving licence (with Phuket address on the back), 90 day reporting slip (from Phuket town/Bluetree), a rental agreement, all prove residency on the island. There is also a desk at the checkpoint, for foreigners to register before leaving the island. 

agogohome | 02 September 2021 - 15:50:45

The answer to those asking if Phuket residents can do day trips off the island and return the same day, is 'no', not without paying 500 baht for an antigen certificate and showing the required vaccination cert's. It's stupid, but that's how it is. 

Kurt | 02 September 2021 - 09:05:51

For what must have a advanced booked and paid hotel? Perhaps they will stay with family. So, no test at day 5 if they stay 6 days only?

SEC2 | 02 September 2021 - 06:26:31

What about day trippers for Phuket residents? Can I go to Natai Beach for lunch and just show my vaccine card and my residence registration from immigration when I return?  How about an article on what Phuket residents can do about traveling off the island.

CaptainJack69 | 01 September 2021 - 14:58:06

@Fasinated.  Phuket residents are allowed to enter. We're required to show a PCR test less than 72 hours old and to prove a Phuket address. For foreigners that means a work permit, pink ID, yellow tabien baan or a letter from immigration. Don't know why the ED didn't include this info in the extensive list of conditions included in the article.

Fascinated | 01 September 2021 - 12:18:57

No mention of those of us who live on the island- can we go out and come in so long as we have the jabs and certificate? A bit strange if domestic tourists can come in but residents can't.

ematt | 01 September 2021 - 11:52:36

Kurt is not going to like this….

 

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