Governor Narong Woonciew issued the order, titled Phuket Province Order No. 5444/2564, yesterday (Sept 14).
The order was posted publicly by provincial officials yesterday afternoon. Rawai Municipality itself posted the order publicly at 4:08pm.
Of note, throughout the order the sea gypsies are referred to as “New Thais”.
Under the order no people are to enter or leave the area except vehicles for transporting goods, consumables, cooking gas, fuel, medical equipment, rescue vehicles, ambulances, medical emergency vehicles, vehicles used for government missions and vehicles carrying parcels and printed materials.
Checkpoints have been set up at the entrance of the community near Rawai Pier and at Soi Mukdee, which enters the village from Soi Laem Ka Yai.
Permission to enter or leave the village wil be at the discretion of the communicable disease control officers at the checkpoints.
Rawai Municipality together with the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office and Muang Phuket District Office are to organise personnel to conduct testing for COVID-19 according to proactive screening measures using ATK (antigen test kits) or RT-PCR tests, the order noted.
Rawai Municipality is to provide all the equipment and materials necessary for screening and cleaning checkpoints, and for spraying disinfectant for COVID-19 in public places and roads, and to provide care and assistance including food, drinking water and other things necessary for the livelihood of residents in the community, the order added.
The lockdown coming into effect today follows Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos announcing last week that the village will be placed under enforced isolation.
Mayor Aroon’s announcement came nearly two weeks after mass testing at the village which was immediately followed by mass sanitisation of public areas throughout the community.
Officials have yet to publicly report the number of infections in the sea gypsy community in Rawai necessitating a lockdown.
They have also yet to explain why it has taken weeks to act on any outbreak there.