Provinces impose tougher COVID-19 measures

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Following the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration’s announcement on containment measures for this current wave of COVID-19, some provinces have taken additional steps to impose measures beyond the CCSA’s mandate, including a COVID-19 testing requirement for inter-provincial travelers.

As one of the 18 red-zone highest control area provinces, the Andaman island province Phuket has imposed very strict measures against travelers from the other 17 red-zone provinces, who need to be fully vaccinated or test negative to the virus.

Travelers from any red-zone province to Phuket, who aren’t fully vaccinated need to present a certificate of a negative SARS-CoV-2 virus test using the RT-PCR method, with the testing performed within 72 hours prior to arrival.

Travelers who have not undertaken the test prior to their arrival are required to take an antigen rapid test, costing 300 baht per person. They will be allowed to enter the province only if the results are negative, otherwise they will be sent to a hospital.

The COVID-19 testing requirement for Phuket arrivals is only applied to travelers from other red-zone provinces arriving by land transport. However, airline passengers are all subject to this requirement, regardless of their point of origin. In addition, they must download the Mor Chana location-based contact tracing application on their smartphone, with access location data set to always, throughout their stay in Phuket.

The measures imposed by Phuket province will stay valid until at least 30th April, with the exception of cargo truck drivers making a day trip, who must present a certificate confirming their operations from their employer at a checkpoint.

While testing is not required to visit Nakhon Si Thammarat, all arrivals from any of the 18 red-zone provinces are now subject to a strict 14-day quarantine. The province will monitor people in quarantine closely through local administrations, and village health volunteers.

With three new cases reported in Sakon Nakhon, the northeastern province has locked down Ban Pathim Wapi and Ban Sai Thong villagers in Song Dao district for 14 days, from 19th April to 2nd May, with no one allowed to enter or exit the two villages unless authorized.

Checkpoints have been placed at the entries to these villagers, with police officers, officers from local authorities, and health volunteers on standby 24 hours a day. If necessary, a person can seek authorization for entry or exit at these villagers from the Song Dao district chief, or an authorized disease control official.

In the southern border province of Yala, where members of the Thai-Muslim community are observing the holy month of Ramadan, no religious activities were cancelled, as the people have been following health and safety measures strictly.

The Sheikhul Islam Office and Yala province have outlined the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, from distancing, to frequent hand washing, not sharing food containers, and always wearing a mask outside, including at prayers.