Phuket eases travel restrictions

Phuket eases travel restrictions

Officials check motorists before allowing them to enter Phuket as part of Covid-19 screening measures. (Photo:Achadtaya Chuenniran)
Officials check motorists before allowing them to enter Phuket as part of Covid-19 screening measures. (Photo:Achadtaya Chuenniran)

Phuket has announced it will ease travelling restrictions and allow visitors that have not received the Covid-19 vaccine to enter the province by land, but such visitors will have to self-quarantine.

Deputy provincial governor Piyapong Chuwong revealed after a meeting held by the provincial communicable diseases committee on Tuesday that the committee agreed to allow travellers, who have yet to receive two doses of vaccine or who have a Covid test certificate, to visit Phuket by land, though they still have to comply with self-quarantine measures for 14 days or throughout the period of their stay in Phuket.

This allowance is already in effect from now until further notice.

Meanwhile, travellers, who enter the province by air still need to register their entry into Phuket at the “www.gophuket.com” website and on the “Mor Chana’’ mobile application to show evidence of Covid-19 vaccination or evidence of a Rapid Antigen test (RT-PCR) within 72 hours prior to arriving in Phuket.

In order to enter Phuket without a vaccine certificate and a Covid-19 test result, travellers will have to be quarantined and disease control officers will issue a ticket and submit it to the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to oversee the quarantine.

The decision came after many people complained about the inconvenience of no longer being able to receive free RT-PCR test services provided by the National Health Security Office (NHSO) at Tha Chat Chai border checkpoint, the sole land entry point of Phuket, as the service has already been terminated, and they have to pay 450 baht for a temporary Covid-19 test service, provided by the province.

As of now, Tha Chat Chai border checkpoint is scheduled to close between 11pm and 5am. Those travellers who do not have the required documents must contact checkpoint officials during office hours between 8.30am and 8.30pm to get the quarantine ticket.

Travellers can quarantine themselves at the place of their choosing, but they will be overseen by EOC officers. If they are found to break the rules and cause the spread of the virus, they will be charged for breaching the Communicable Disease Act.

About 300,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine will be allocated to Phuket by the end of this month. More than 440,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be provided by August to ensure vaccination reaches up to 70% of the population.


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