Home Thailand Phuket

Phuket Ends Self-Imposed Isolation Oct. 1 Even As Covid-19 Cases Continue Surge

Phuket Temple Wat Thailand

Phuket’s self-imposed isolation to all but “sandbox” tourists ends Oct. 1.

The province’s communicable diseases committee on Thursday agreed to finally left entry restrictions, allowing Thais and expats to enter via air, sea and land.

Gov. Narong Woonsiew said passengers arriving by air will be required to show proof that they have completed their Covid-19 vaccinations, or recovered from from the disease within six months.

They must also show a negative coronavirus test result, using the RT-PCR or antigen test method, taken no more than seven days before arriving.

He added that those who arrive via the Tha Chatchai checkpoint or seaports also will be required to show a similar negative test result.

All incoming travelers must download the “Mor Chana” tracking application for contact tracing.

Phuket banned travel from the rest of the country Aug. 1 in the face of a surge in daily coronavirus cases that have taxed the province’s hospitals. Only foreign arrivals via the “sandbox” program were allowed.

But Phuket Chamber of Commerce honorary Chairman Urachai Chaiwat said the “sandbox” program attracted around 300 tourists each day, well below the target of 1,000 daily foreign arrivals.

From July 1, when the program started, to September 20, only 34,880 foreign tourists have visited Phuket.

Perhaps that’s why Phuket is lifting the entry restrictions, even though cases have increased since Aug. 1. Day in and day out, the island is seeing about 220-250 new cases each day.

On Friday, Phuket 228 new Covid-19 cases, none from the sandbox.