Phuket extends Covid curbs until end of month

Phuket extends Covid curbs until end of month

People are pictured at Karon beach in Phuket on Saturday. (Reuters photo)
People are pictured at Karon beach in Phuket on Saturday. (Reuters photo)

Phuket, which is implementing the Phuket sandbox model, is extending Covid restrictions until the end of this month due to rising numbers of new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases.

The restrictions, which include sealing off the island to outsiders, take effect on Tuesday and run to Aug 31.

Phuket governor Narong Woonciew said he agreed with the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee on the need to extend the restrictions and signed an order on Saturday.

Mr Narong said Phuket announced it would extend its border entrance controls. No one is allowed to enter Phuket by land (the Tha Chatchai checkpoint), sea (every seaport) or air, except children younger than six years under parental supervision and 16 groups of people.

Exemptions include those involved with emergency medical work; medicine and medical equipment delivery; fuel delivery; agricultural goods, animal foods and livestock delivery and construction supplies, machinery and maintenance supplies delivery.

Others are Phuket residents, visitors related to the sandbox scheme, and people who have been vaccinated with two shots of Sinovac or at least one shot of AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson at least 14 days prior to arrival, or those who have recovered from Covid-19 for at least 90 days.

The visitors have to produce a negative RT-PCR or antigen test result obtained in the past 72 hours, he said.

Mr Narong said Phuket has also announced a list of places which will close and activities which will be banned.

The closure list includes pubs, bars, karaoke joints, entertainment venues, fighting fish fields, boxing arenas, gambling areas, pool rooms, internet cafes, boxing and martial arts schools, and swimming pools, he said.

Educational institutions are prohibited from arranging education activities and activities that require students to gather in the Phuket area, he said.

Phuket recorded over 100 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday. All were locally transmitted, and none are from the sandbox scheme. Accumulative infections on the island are now 1,940.

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