Today, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew signed Phuket Province Order No. 3491/2564 officially detailing the rules of the Sandbox reopening. While most provisions have been widely discussed – fully vaccinated travellers coming from at least 3 weeks in a low- to medium-risk country, negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours, US $100,000 Covid-19 insurance, 14 days in an SHA+ hotel, tests on the 1st, 6th, and 12th day, etc. – some details are ironed out in this statement.
Notably missing from the details of the Phuket reopening order is an explanation of what happens should a travel test positive for Covid-19 at any time and the recently raised controversy of whether travellers can only share a room if they are legally married.
The order also confirms the response options to reduce activities, implement Sealed Routes, impose quarantine, or end the Phuket Sandbox. These choices can be made if Phuket records more than 90 new cases a week, if 80% of Covid-19 treatment beds in hospitals are full, if more than 3 clusters have outbreaks, or if Covid-19 is found in more than 6 subdistricts in Phuket’s 3 main districts.
Prep is fast underway, with the Tourism and Sports Minister and a Deputy PM inspecting the new Phuket Sandbox Operation Centre yesterday, established to enforce these new rules. Airports of Thailand created a pictograph of the 7 steps when landing at Phuket International Airport, though unsurprisingly it’s comprised of 20 pictures.
The new Phuket reopening order is long, but the full text is included in English below. Some key points to consider though for the order that goes into effect on July 1 are summarised here.
The decree states that arrivals must spend the first night quarantined in their hotel as their arrival test results will be received the next day. Visitors must install 2 apps on their mobile devices for tracking – MorChana and ThailandPlus.
After 14 days, details are laid out for how to fly and even more so, how to travel by boat. 3 piers have been approved for public ferries to depart and 5 more have been flagged for yacht departures. 7 piers are also approved for day trips that go out into the waters but DO NOT leave Phuket province, which will be allowed with strict tracking and regulation during the first 14 days.
The order states that anyone wanting to leave Phuket that does not have paperwork proving that they meet all requirements and completed the 14 day initial stay will only be allowed to exit Phuket by international flight. It also stipulates that hiding or falsifying your travel details or Covid-19 infections is a violation with possible fines and jail.
The order officially establishes the Operations Centre to oversee the Sandbox reopening, monitor all travel, organise surveillance, coordinate with all entry and exit points, and manage traveller complaints and public opinion.
Finally, the new rules stipulate punishments for violations, including deportation and a ban on re-entering Thailand for foreigners, and Thai nationals face up to 2 year in prison and 100,000 baht in fines. Tour operators who knowingly transport rule-breakers face the same punishments plus their operating license could be suspended or revoked.
Phuket Province Order No. 3491/2564
|Effective from July 1, 2021 onwards. |
Subject: Determination of travel screening measures for entering Phuket according to the prevention and control measures for the Coronavirus Disease 2019.
According to the state of emergency declaration in all localities throughout the Kingdom from March 26, 2020, after which the enforcement period of emergency declaration has been extended until July 31, 2021, and following Phuket Provincial Order No. 2920/2564 dated May 28, 2021 Subject: Determination of travel screening measures for entering Phuket according to the prevention and control measures for COVID-19.
Because the Cabinet has passed a resolution on June 22, 2021, to acknowledge and approve in principle opening a pilot area for tourists in Phuket, the province will accept tourists from countries that are low-risk or medium-risk areas who have been vaccinated with vaccines recognised by the [Thai] Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Ministry of Public Health and the World Health Organization (WHO); have been vaccinated with the approved the full amount of dosage; and have passed the COVID-19 testing process within 72 hours prior to travel to be able to travel in Phuket without quarantine in order to stimulate the overall economy of the province. From July 1, 2021, onwards, therefore, in order to prepare for the opening of the city for tourists along with public health measures Phuket Province needs to set measures to control, monitor, and trace tourists coming from abroad and the general public who will travel to Phuket. To prevent infection and spread in Phuket by virtue of Section 22, Section 34, Section 35 of the Communicable Disease Act B.E. 2558 and the provisions issued under Section 9 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations B.E. 2548 (No. 1) dated 25 March 2020 (No. 20) dated April 16, 2021 (No. 23) dated May 15, 2021, and (No. 24) dated June 19, 2021, the Governor of Phuket with the approval of the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee according to the resolution of the meeting No. 40/2564 dated June 21, 2021, the Phuket Province Order No. 2920/2564 dated May 28, 2021, was cancelled and issued an order specifying the screening measures for travel into Phuket according to the following preventive and control measures for COVID-19.
|Article 1. Measures for travellers entering the Kingdom at Phuket International Airport for foreigners and Thai people. Travellers must have the following qualifications and practices: |
|Article 2. Those who come from abroad and wish to travel out of Phuket to travel to other provinces or travelling out of the Kingdom by air (Phuket International Airport) are to comply with the following:Tourists who have stayed in Phuket for 14 nights and wish to leave Phuket must show documentary evidence to the officers at the departure gate checkpoint at the domestic terminal or the international terminal as follows: |
|Article 3. Those who come from abroad and wish to leave Phuket to travel to other provinces by land and by boat are to comply with the following practices: |
By land (Tha Chatchai checkpoint)
Those who wish to travel outside of Phuket must present documents confirming that the government has approved the procedures with a stamp in the passport attachment indicating the length of stay in Phuket, evidence of a COVID-19 test that shows that COVID-19 was not detected during the 14-day period of residence in Phuket issued by an agency of the Ministry of Public Health, and proof of residence in a SHA+ (SHA Plus) certified establishment in Phuket for a period of 14 nights.
By boat (via pier)
NOTE: In the case of foreign travellers who wish to depart from Phuket but are unable to show evidence at the land checkpoint (Tha Chatchai checkpoint) at the boat checkpoint (designated port) will not be able to travel outside of Phuket in all cases – except for departing from Phuket to depart from the Kingdom of Thailand, which must be via Phuket International Airport only.
|Article 4. Travelling to Phuket by Thai people from other provinces or foreigners residing in Thailand. The Tha Chatchai checkpoint, the water channel (pier) at every port in Phuket and domestic channels at Phuket International Airport, travellers except children under 6 years old travelling with parents must have one of the qualifications and must comply with the following practices: |
If you are sick or suspect that you have symptoms of COVID-19, see a doctor immediately.
Infected people who intentionally conceal travel information or report false information to communicable disease control officials. This hinders the investigation and control of the disease resulting in the spread of pathogens. It may be considered a violation or failure to comply with the order of the communicable disease control officer, which is an offence under the Communicable Disease Act B.E. 2558 as well.
|Article 5. Phuket Province [the Phuket provincial government] has established an operations centre to control the opening of the city [Phuket] to accommodate Phuket Tourism Sandbox tourists, and to manage and assign tasks accordingly; supervising and monitoring travel in and out of Phuket of foreign tourists and Thai people both travelling from abroad and within the country from the point of arrival until the departure from the province; duties include organising a system for monitoring information on the entry and exit of tourists, surveillance and tracking; to assess the infection situation, complaints or public opinions. All problems, obstacles to practice measures and solutions are to be reported to the CCSA and the ministry of Public Health on an ongoing basis by providing a communication system to connect with important locations, including: |
|Article 6. The Phuket Provincial Public Health Office must develop a response plan and a plan to delay or cancel the project. If there are more than 90 new cases per week, there are characteristics of a spread of infection in all 3 districts in the province and more than 6 sub-districts, if there are outbreaks in more than 3 clusters, or a widespread outbreak with no cause or link, or if at least 80% of the number of beds available for infected patients, there will be 4 levels of adjustment measures as follows: |
|Article 7. Asking for cooperation from those who travel to Phuket. Comply with measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (D-M-H-T-T-A) including: |
|Article 8. Violation of non-compliance with orders or measures |
In addition, because it is an urgent case, if it is left too late, it will cause serious damage to the public or affect the public interest. Therefore, the parties may not exercise their right to object under Section 30 paragraph two (1) of the Administrative Procedure Act, B.E. 2539.
If anyone violates or fails to comply with this order may be an offense under Section 51, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand baht, or Section 52, subject to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand baht, or both of the Communicable Diseases Act B.E. 2558 and may Being punished under Section 18 of the Emergency Decree, B.E. 2548, in accordance with the provisions issued under Section 9 of the Emergency Decree, B.E. 2548 shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years. or a fine not exceeding forty thousand baht or both
|This is from 1 July 2021 onwards until there is a change in the order. |
Ordered on 25 June 2021
SOURCE: The Phuket News
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