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‘Too early to tell’: Phuket Governor makes no promises on easing COVID restrictions

‘Too early to tell’: Phuket Governor makes no promises on easing COVID restrictions

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew has declined to confirm or deny whether or not the current COVID restrictions across the island and for entering Phuket will be eased come next Monday (Aug 16), when the current order enforcing the restrictions is set to expire.

COVID-19Coronavirushealth
By The Phuket News

Wednesday 11 August 2021, 04:12PM


Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew. Photo: PR Phuket

Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew. Photo: PR Phuket

“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

UWC Thailand

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.

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Kurt | 14 August 2021 - 05:15:58

Alcohol ban is good for:  1: Power feeling satisfaction of Official who dictates it ( for what reason he doesn't know). 2: Obedience training time/days of the Thai population. However, as with all nonsense things, more and more Thai people see the idiotism of it and ignore the alcohol ban. Not at least because they have to earn a living with their restaurants and bars.

Fascinated | 13 August 2021 - 19:02:06

Mr Ed- why can others comment about alcohol being served but my comment isn't allowed? Dkk- at what point is it OK for YOU to decide what laws can be broken?

DeKaaskopp | 13 August 2021 - 15:34:49

@lelecuneo    Good to see that there are restaurants who do not follow that stupid ban, as nobody will get Covid from having some beers. 

lelecuneo | 13 August 2021 - 14:43:03

meanwhile i see everywhere coffe mug in the tables...tall paper cut, even empty cola /sprite cans cutted really on the top and filled with beers all over the island.... so it is really what we need here or it is just a way to safe his face somehow? wtf 

scottboyes | 12 August 2021 - 12:00:33

We are fully vaccinated businessmen who took advantage of the Sandbox to get access to our meetings and factory in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Now the flights have been cancelled and our driver cannot even enter the island to pick us up and drive us to Bangkok. Car rental companies will not us drive to BKK and drop off the car there because there is no way to get it returned to Phuket. Ridiculous! 

Fascinated | 11 August 2021 - 19:21:51

Lurching along two weeks at a time just annoys everyone. The alcohol ban in restaurants is ridiculous- people are flouting it everywhere and the cops turn a blind eye. I even saw them drive past a place yesterday as ice was being delivered. This chaotic behaviour will do nothing for the Sandbox. I saw a family walking around aimlessly yesterday just trying to find a place to eat.

 

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