The news was announced by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, said a report by the national branch of the Public Relations Department posted online.
According to the report, also starting from this Saturday, Phuket officials will consider people who have received one injection of Sinovac plus one injection of AstraZeneca as “fully vaccinated”.
Governor Narong noted that the number of new COVID infections on the island had fallen “significantly” compared with a few weeks ago, when health officials on the island were reporting more than 200 new cases a day, said the report.
Governor Narong pointed out the move takes into consideration that 85% of all new COVID cases in Phuket have shown only mild signs of infection, or no signs of infection at all.
The move also takes into account the number of people in Phuket who have received their third-dose “booster” vaccine injection, already more than 200,000, and that from data collected from people conducting their own tests by ATKs at Phuket Check Point in previous months showed that only 0.3% were actually infected, he added.
Another factor taken into consideration was the current campaign to provide vaccination injections to 12,000 children aged 12-18 years old, Governor Narong said.
The matter of easing the screening measures for domestic visitors entering Phuket was presented to the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee meeting on Friday (Oct 8), said the report.
The committee agreed to maintain the current measures until Oct 15, but relax the measures from this Saturday (Oct 16), the report added.
People who will be allowed to enter Phuket without presenting evidence of testing negative for the virus comprise people who have received:
- two injections of Sinovac; or
- two injections of Sinopharm; or
- one injection of Sinovac plus one injection of AstraZeneca; or
- the full vaccination dosage of an mRNA vaccine (one or two doses, as applicable).
People who have recovered from being infected with COVID-19 not less than 90 days but not more than 180 days will also be allowed onto the island without having to prove they have tested negative for the virus, the report said.
However, those who fail to prove they are fully vaccinated will be required to show evidence that they have tested negative for COVID-19 by RT-PCR or antigen test (ATK) method within seven days before arriving at the checkpoint. Such people must present a certificate issued by a recognised medical facility.
People will no longer be allowed to bring their own ATK test kits and perform the COVID tests in front of officials at the Phuket Check Point, but the “private infection detection service” at the checkpoint will be allowed to continue to operate, the report said.
Of note, the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department has yet to post its announcement confirming the change in entry requirements, which has also yet to be confirmed by official order.