Phuket domestic travel rules need streamlining, officials discuss

FILE PHOTO: Officials discussed a simplifying of domestic travel restrictions.

Officials in Phuket met yesterday to consider ideas about how to ease travel restrictions for domestic travellers in hopes of enabling domestic tourism to grow. With current harsh restrictions, mostly people with an imminent need to travel in and out of Phuket can jump through the hoops to access the island. Many business owners say they have seen little benefit from the international Phuket Sandbox plan and need travel restrictions eased (as well as nightlife reopened)

The meeting took place at the Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday and was called specifically to look at the problem of how to allow domestic travellers to enter more easily after Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew issued an order on September 11 that went into effect on the 15th where requirement still remain stringent.

Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong and other senior local officials gathered with private sector representatives about the need to relax the current measures for domestic tourists to save Phuket’s flailing economy while still keeping it relatively safe from Covid-19 infections being dragged in from the mainland easily.

Vice-governor clarified that this was not a new order going into effect but merely a proposal cooked up between the government and private sector to entice domestic travellers that will be prepared and then presented to the Phuket Communicable Diseases Committee for consideration and possible enactment.

The plan calls for a simplifying and streamlining of all rule complexities to allow anyone to travel to Phuket as long as they meet and follow 3 simple guidelines.

First, anyone travelling to Phuket must be fully vaccinated. Second, upon arrival at the checkpoint overland, those wishing to enter must provide an RT-PCR or antigen test kit swab test taken within 7 days of arrival to prove that they are negative for Covid-19. And finally, those entering Phuket must first register their travel plans on the website and install and use the Mor Prom app on their mobile device while they’re on the island.

A similar plan is proposed for travel by air, with checkpoints at the airport for arrivals, as well as an idea for passengers departing to Phuket, allowing those incoming passengers to bring their own ATKs and pass a Covid-19 test on the spot before boarding their flight.

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.