Vice Governor Piyapong explained during a live broadcast online yesterday evening (May 31), that many of the businesses allowed to reopen under the latest order issued by Phuket provincial officials were required to have their staff vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to be allowed to reopen.
Under the latest order ‒ formally issued last Friday, publicly announced late Saturday night and coming into effect today (June 1), a total of 17 types of businesses are allowed to reopen today.
However, the requirement that staff at businesses requiring contact or close proximity to patrons must be vaccinated was not included in the main body of the order. The condition was included in an annex attached to the order.
“Workers in the venues that staff and customers have to touch or be close to each other need to be fully vaccinated for Sinovac or have received the first injection of AstraZeneca vaccine,” Vice Governor Piyapong said.
“The venues that we still ordered to remain closed are at risk of spreading the disease, and they are places that are not necessary for daily living,” he said.
“For the restriction for some places, we have considered the places linking to daily life, and the risk of spreading the disease can be protected [sic],” he added.
After reconfirming that schools in Phuket are allowed to reopen from June 14, Vice Governor Piyapong read through the list of venues and businesses that must have staff vaccinated in order to reopen.
“Massage and spa venues. It sounds contradictory to what I explained before, but right now, staff in this business are vaccinated. We believe that they are safe to work now,” V/Gov Piyapong said.
“Staff who provide services in the venues must be fully vaccinated or have received the first injection of AstraZeneca vaccine, which is coming in June,” he added.
“We have about 50% of our people who already have had their first injection. We believe that they are safe enough to work, but the disease control measures are still in effect,” he noted.
“Workers in tattoo venues also need to be vaccinated,” V/Gov Piyapong continued.
“Tourism-related businesses, snorkelling services and scuba diving businesses. Customers must not use snorkelling equipment together.
“Nurseries. Staff need to be vaccinated,” he said.
“Outdoor sports venues and public parks. We ask you all to refrain from using the exercise equipment, as we do not have staff to clean them for you,” V/Gov Piyapong noted.
“Indoor sport venues, including gyms, fitness centres, can open, as there are staff to clean equipment and public areas. All staff must be vaccinated too,” he said.
“Boxing stadiums. Staff have to be vaccinated, as trainers and trainees must be close to each other.
“Medical clinics for beauty service. Staff need to be vaccinated,” V/Gov Piyapong added.
“Right now, Phuket is becoming safer and safer due to vaccinations. Even though some people like elders and pregnant women have not been vaccinated, they can live in our society safely too because we will have herd immunity,”
“However, those who have not been vaccinated may face difficulty with work,” V/Gov Piyapong noted.
“It is your responsibility to be active to get vaccinated, as we are opening for you to register and get injected now,” he said.
“In Phuket, we have had some people having side effects from the vaccination, but they had only light symptoms. No one has died from the vaccination in Phuket,” V/Gov Piyapong assured.