Phuket to nix screening of fully vaxxed tourists

Phuket to nix screening of fully vaxxed tourists

Locals and tourists watch a sunset from Phuket island's Phromthep on April 9, 2022. (Reuters photo)
Locals and tourists watch a sunset from Phuket island's Phromthep on April 9, 2022. (Reuters photo)

Covid-19 screening measures for fully vaccinated visitors in Phuket will be lifted from Sunday as per the orders of a committee chaired by the island's governor, Narong Woonciew.

The decision was made during a meeting of the provincial communicable disease committee on Tuesday which also included deputy Phuket governor Pichet Panapong, related officials, state agencies, and members of the private sector.

The meeting agreed to adjust disease-prevention measures to assist the tourism sector by lifting Covid-19 screening measures for those visiting the province via land, sea and air.

Mr Narong said the meeting analysed the infection rate in Phuket which shows a decline to 98 cases per day.

More than 70% of the island's residents have had a third vaccine dose and the medical services are well prepared, he said.

Mr Pichet said while fully vaccinated visitors will be allowed to enter Phuket without testing requirements, unvaccinated visitors will still be required to undergo an RT-PCR test and comply with measures of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Previously, travellers who entered the province via the Thailand Pass were required to undergo an RT-PCR test on arrival and book into a SHA Plus hotel for at least a night. Prior to that stricter measures resulted in visitors spending seven days in hotel quarantine.

"Aside from the lifting of Covid-19 screening tests for fully vaccinated travellers, sales of alcohol at restaurants will be allowed to operate until midnight from the current legal limit of 11pm," Mr Pichet said.

He said entertainment venues that intend to operate as restaurants are required to be assessed by the provincial communicable disease committee first.

"Phuket also has the 'hotel room isolation' scheme that allows those testing positive to stay in their original hotel and receive treatment in an isolated zone," he added.

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