Officials on the southern island of Phuket have begun an extensive screening process of all arrivals from elsewhere in the Kingdom. The new checks are aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19 on the island, which has already recorded over 250 cases in the latest wave. The checks will be in place until at least the end of the month.
Anyone arriving from one of the high-risk “red” provinces must have proof they have received 2 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, or evidence of a negative PCR test, taken with 72 hours of their arrival. Those who cannot satisfy either of those requirements will need to take an antigen rapid test. The test is free of charge for Thai nationals, but 500 baht for foreigners, regardless of whether they pay tax and have social security coverage in the Kingdom or not.
The Bangkok Post reports that, in order to take the test, passengers arriving by land must exit their vehicle and present their ID. They will then receive a nasal swab test, with the results confirmed in around 45 minutes. If negative, they will be issued with a Covid-free certificate, which is valid for 72 hours. They will also be required to download the Mor Chana tracking app and register on the track and trace website www.gophuget.com.
Of course, if they test positive, they will be whisked off to a hospital – most likely of the field variety.
The screening measures are in place at Phuket airport and the Tha Chatchai checkpoint at the north of the island, where all overland traffic will arrive. Phuket governor Narong Woonciew visited the checkpoint for an inspection yesterday. He says while there were some teething problems in the initial stages, things are running more smoothly now.
The governor says that while around 10,000 people visited Phuket every day over the Songkran holiday, that number has now dropped to around 3,000.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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