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Fortress Phuket remains sealed off from the mainland




PHOTO: Sarasin Bridge, linking Phuket to Phang Nga province

A request by Phuket officials to reopen the Sarasin Bridge has been refused. The Governor has confirmed that the island will remain ‘closed’ until further notice. That includes the Phuket International Airport which was going to re-open yesterday (May 16), but 24 hours after the notice to reopen the airport on Thursday, the Civil Aviation Authority did a U-turn on the decision and said the airport would remain closed ‘indefinitely’.

But the airport will continue to receive freight, military and emergency flights.

As far as the Sarasin Bridge is concerned, the only land access to the Thai mainland, Phuket’s provincial police posted the current situation…

“All authorised traffic, including deliveries of essential goods, products, medical equipment and supplies, authorised government officials, construction materials for government projects, and any other people deemed “necessary” by officials, would continue to be granted passage onto and off the island as usual under the original lockdown order.”

But there has been an exodus of authorised and registered citizens over the past 2 weeks. Some 50,000 people had registered to leave according to provincial authorities..

“People wanting to enter or exit Phuket (via the Tha Chatchai checkpoint) must register through the new PhuketSmartCheck-in app, which is available for mobile phones.”

According to the App some 21,000 have already left the island. It also reveals that, from May 3 to May 15, people returning to Phuket totalled 14,245.

Phuket officials have reminded people leaving Phuket that they will have to observe a 14 day quarantine when they reach their destination. Officials from other provinces, receiving people from Phuket, confirm that departees will be checked when they arrive and placed into quarantine.

The PhuketSmartCheck-in app says people leaving Phuket must first observe a 14 day quarantine to obtain the ”Fit to Travel” documentation before they depart, but makes no mention of any quarantine period for people coming to Phuket from other provinces.

The Phuket Provincial Police told Phuket News that only people with “urgent” matters to address will be allowed onto the island. Arrivals will be subjected to “strict inspection”.

SOURCES: Phuket Provincial PR | Phuket News


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