The Phuket Provincial Public Health Office is warning people arriving in Phuket that any antigen test kit they use as proof they don’t have Covid-19 needs to be a nasal cavity swab, and not merely a saliva test. The health officials warned they will not issue confirmation documents for ATKs that only use saliva and those who arrived with those will be turned away at the Tha Chatchai Checkpoint.
Phuket just reopened yesterday for fully vaccinated domestic tourists but those arriving still need to prove that they are Covid-19 free with a valid test taken within the last 72 hours. As part of the new reopening, the decision was made to allow home antigen test kits that travellers can purchase and bring with them. When they arrive at the checkpoint, the traveller can take the test in front of officials to prove that they are currently negative for Covid-19.
On the first day of this policy yesterday, about 50 people took advantage of the ATK option to test at the checkpoint which created a traffic backup. But of those 50, 4 people were turned away after arriving with test kits that use only saliva and not a full nasal cavity swab.
On the bright side, none of the people arriving, whether they tested on the spot with an ATK or brought proof of a recent test with them, were found to be infected with Covid-19.
Still, officials warned that many people were turned away because they were missing some of the entry requirements or didn’t meet the restrictions. Some had not filled out their travel details as required on www.gophuget.com or did not have a negative Covid-19 test. And then there were those who brought only a saliva-based ATK, or another test kit that had not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The PPHO hopes for compliance with the new procedures and the option of purchasing your own antigen test kit is seen as a positive move to save travellers time and money and make it easier to visit Phuket.
SOURCE: The Phuket News
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