Coronavirus (Covid-19)Phuket

Hundreds barred daily on Phuket bridge lacking Covid-19 docs

PHOTO: Many were denied entry to Phuket without Covid-19 documents. (via PR Phuket)

Police are warning people that if you’re going to drive into Phuket, you better have a negative Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours before arrival or proof you are fully vaccinated or you will be turned away. The officers guarding the land entrance onto Phuket Island said they are turning away as many as 500 drivers per day who do not have the required paperwork to enter the province.

Despite stories on and off throughout Covid-19 of the land borders being more relaxed than authorities let on, the police chief of Tha Chatchai is laying down the line: no vaccine, no Covid-19 test, no entry.

Drivers nearing the entry to Phuket who are unvaccinated and don’t have the proper proof of a negative Covid-19 test are advised to stop at the testing facilities the government has set up just before the checkpoint in order to take a rapid test. If those test results come back negative, they will then be allowed to cross the bridge into Phuket.

The rule has been in place since October and there have been plenty of people turned away in the last several months, but checkpoint guards are seeing a huge uptick of unprepared people streaming back onto the island after the New Year’s holiday.

Traffic at times has backed up on the road leading onto the bridge that connects Phuket Island with the mainland. Cars being turned away for not meeting entry requirements only exacerbated the situation. Officials at the gates say about 300 to 400 people have been turned away each day on average

A second traffic jam has occasionally formed in the opposite directions as cars turning around slowed a stream of people leaving Phuket. Officials were doing similar checks for Covid-19 safety for travellers exiting the island.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.