“We have been asked whether the measure to refuse all domestic arrivals [except those with essential reason] will remain in effect after Aug 16. I would like to explain that we are considering the infection situation on the island, and throughout the country, every day,” Governor Narong said during a live broadcast this morning (Aug 10).
“We need to have a meeting first. A couple of days before the day, we will be able to tell the press about our conclusion,” he said.
“We have also been asked about whether schools will be allowed to open after Aug 16 because students are having problems with online studying. We will consider the measures in effect by the Ministry of Education together with the situation on the island [before making a decision],” he added.
“That is all I can answer for now,” he said.
On the day that the tighter measures to enter Phuket were introduced on Aug 3, 190 drivers were refused entry to the island for failing to satisfy the requirements (see below).
Even by Aug 5, 25% of those arriving at the checkpoint were being turned away, Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Col Aganit Danpitaksat later confirmed.
However, Col Aganit also explained that the volume of traffic arriving at the checkpoint at Tha Chatchai had fallen by some 75% since the new measures were introduced.
Before the new measures came into effect, Governor Narong on July 31 explained that closing the checkpoint to all people except those conducting essential business was vital for Phuket in preventing more COVID infections arriving from the mainland.
Regardless, the number of local infections has continued to spiral upwards, reaching 81 infections last Sunday (Aug 8) alone, a record for the number of local infections in Phuket on any one day.
The number of local infections over seven-day periods has climbed into the hundreds.
Requirements for entering Phuket
The current requirements for entering Phuket were introduced via a provincial order issued by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew on July 29.
Under the order, the only persons and vehicles to be allowed onto the island from Aug 3 onwards are as follows:
1) Medical ambulance emergency patient, lifeguard, rescue
2) Transport drugs, materials, medical supplies, medical chemicals
3) Transport consumer goods, agricultural products, livestock, animal feed
4) Transporting cooking gas fuel
5) Transport for banks, money, financial institution
6) Transport of parcels and publications
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 the agency to perform duties in the prevention and control of diseases in Phuket
9) People who have been ordered by government agencies to go or perform urgent missions in Phuket
10) Those who have an appointment according to the court proceedings prosecutor or the investigating officer which must have clear documentary evidence that if postponing the said appointment will seriously damage the consideration process or an appointment to register rights and juristic acts only in case of urgent need that cannot be avoided otherwise it will cause damage to the parties or greatly affect the economy.
11) Transport construction materials, machinery and spare parts used for maintenance. Only used in the implementation of projects to solve the flood problem. or projects of the state, state enterprises, other government agencies in solving problems of people’s troubles or in case of urgent need
12) Any other cases that have practical problems that need to be diagnosed and ordered The incident commander at the Phuket checkpoint shall have the authority to consider on a case by case basis.
Even then, the checkpoint onto Phuket will remain closed to all traffic except for emergencies from 11pm to 4am each night.
In order to be allowed into Phuket, all of the above exceptions still must be 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.
Alternatively, arrivals must have been discharged from medical care for recovering from CVOID-19 no more than 90 days before arriving.
In order to be allowed into Phuket, all arrivals must also 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.