Coronavirus (Covid-19)PhuketThailand

Phuket to rollout rapid Covid-19 testing campaign for visitors

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A rapid Covid-19 antigen testing campaign for visitors to Phuket is being rolled out to quickly detect cases in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. The island province is set to reopen to foreign tourists in July, that is if the virus is contained and if at least 70% of the population is vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The rapid testing campaign will start today and go until May 15. Visitors from Krabi, Ranong, Trang, and Phatthalung will be tested, according to deputy Phuket governor Piyapong Choowong. After May 15, those entering Phuket through official checkpoints will under Covid-19 tests funded by the National Health Security Office.

If daily new Covid-19 infections are more than 20 after the rapid testing campaign ends next week, then local officials will impose stricter disease control measures to help contain the virus.

In the recent wave of infections over the past month, there have been 493 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Phuket with 229 currently in treatment, according to the chief of the provincial public health office, Koosak Kookiattikul. To help contain Covid-19 in Phuket, the governor has also ordered local officials to find at-risk groups and carry out active case finding campaigns.

Despite the recent Covid-19 outbreak, Phuket is still scheduled to reopen under the so-called sandbox model, allowing foreign tourists who are vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel to the island without undergoing quarantine. A mass vaccination campaign is being rolled out on the island province in an effort to vaccinate 70% of the population, reaching herd immunity, by the end of June. Expats in Phuket with a valid work permit will be able to register for a vaccine starting next week.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.


  1. They have been testing all arrivals at the Bridge and Airport for 2 weeks now – another story that has got twisted somewhere – they have also said that from May 15th they may stop testing of cases remain low

  2. “They have been testing all arrivals at the Bridge and Airport for 2 weeks now”

    … and it’s been widely reported by the BP (the “source”) and the Thaiger @Rasputin!

    … including serial complaints about it being free for Thais (“funded by the National Health Security Office”) and 500 baht for farangs!

    Do the BP and Thaiger not have editors who check their articles before publishing them? (????)

  3. It would be a remarkable feat if the July 1 date was met.
    The Anti Vac brigade, has entered the mindset of many – making the 70% benchmark pretty tough.
    In the US they are now offering free beer and other incentives to get Vacs. (as they now have more vacs and shooting stations than customers).
    I do wonder if they could achieve 70%/Herd immunity by having only vacs and vac delivery in place OR if they are going to struggle with convincing 70% to participate.

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