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Phuket adds and “clarifies” many restrictions, “no” booze

Jack Arthur

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PHOTO: via Irene LEVIN/Flickr.

Phuket officials announced yesterday that they’re going to kick restrictions up a notch. The Covid protection measures include a new order stipulating all domestic arrivals from anywhere in the country need to provide evidence that they have tested negative for Covid before they are allowed admittance into Phuket.

The order came out after 9 pm last night. It will come into effect tomorrow, or tonight at midnight.

The heightened measures come after a meeting led by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew on Sunday. There, the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee decided to tighten protection measures to further prevent Covid infections from entering the island.

Narong adds that the new measures are a result of the additional infections that have been detected on the island/precarious Sandbox scheme. The new infections showed up despite the other new restrictions officials imposed on July 15. The governor went on to say that most of the new infections came from people who just arrived in Phuket.

The governor continued to say the new infections confirmed per day has exceeded the “specific standards” already set out.

Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong elaborated on many of the key measures at a meeting on Sunday. For example, the new order decrees that all arrivals, starting at midnight today, must be fully vaccinated, or they must enter the province within 90 days of being released from medical care after getting over Covid.

Piyapong also elaborated on what constitutes fully vaccinated, saying that visitors must have 2 doses of either Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccines. Also, they can have 1 dose of either AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, or the elusive Johnson & Johnson, within 14 days prior to getting to Phuket.

The Vice Governor also says that all arrivals, regardless of vaccination status or whether they had recovered from Covid, still must take an RT-PCR test or a rapid antigen test within the last 7 days to confirm they do not have Covid.

Hopeful visitors cannot use a home test kit to enter Phuket, said Dr Chalermpong last Friday.

Further restrictions state that children between the ages of 6 to 18 also must test negative for Covid. Children under 6 are exempt. Checkpoints will also bar entry and exit for vehicles from 11 pm to 4 am. Unless the inbound traffic is a government official and other staff performing urgent business who have permission from a higher-up.

The new order/restriction still leave it somewhat ambiguous whether the same rules pertain to people who wish to leave Phuket. Piyapong tells Phuket News today that there are no requirements to leave the island. However, officials would “prefer” that people already in Phuket remain so for the “time being”.

The order also says that restrictions apply to people who reside or work in Phuket. That is, if they wish to leave and wish to get back in, they need proof of vaccination or a negative test result. … And they need a form signed by an official. The form, which is all in Thai, can be found here.

It must be signed by an official at a local government office, say a district office or local municipality. Or a local administration organisation. The arcane form does not specify the officers that are considered “relevant government officials”.

Piyapong did “clarify “that the form is primary for Thais, but if foreigners apply for the form, that “would be good, too”. The Vice Governor says it is up to the administrative authority to decide if the requirement pertains to foreigners. The VG also says that starting Tuesday, restaurants must stop serving alcohol or allowing alcohol to be consumed on the premises… from 9 pm.

Additional restrictions:

  1. Shopping centres must close at 9 pm!
  2. 24 hour convenience stores must close at 11 pm and can reopen at 4 am!
  3. Public gatherings that have been permitted by authorities are limited to 150 people!
  4. Pubs, bars, karaoke venues, “other entertainment venues, gambling venues, cockfighting, fish fighting, boxing, and similar venues must also stay closed
  5. Department stores and shopping centres must close at 9 pm. Customers must be limited. Promotional events are still banned. “Kids amusement zones” are still closed
  6. Gatherings to drink in public, still not allowed
  7. People must resist holding celebrations. Unless they are traditional events that cannot be delayed such as funerals, weddings, ordinations and other religious ceremonies
  8. Officers leaving the island is also not allowed… Unless there is an urgent/necessary reason which must be approved by their office chief

Despite these restrictions, sport stadiums, gyms, and fitness centres can stay open. Snooker/billiards can only open from 3 pm to 9 pm.

  1. Internet cafes must close at 9 pm
  2. Movie theatres, theme parks, and water parks can stay open, with the exception of “common touch playthings”, which can stay open from 8 am to 8 pm.
  3. It is recommended that government officers and private company workers work from home
  4. Filming is allowed, provided it does not exceed 150 people

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.

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