Phuket closes borders as Covid-19 cases increase
Earlier this month, the highly anticipated Phuket Sandbox programme kicked off. Vaccinated travellers – local and international – were welcome to visit Phuket and fulfill their quarantine requirements on the island, instead of in an Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) facility.
At the same time, Covid-19 cases throughout the nation began rising rapidly. In lieu of the current situation, Phuket officials have opted to seal off the island from travellers coming from Thailand’s other provinces starting from 3rd August 2021.
Below are the details of the order, and how it’ll affect travel.
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Phuket closes borders to travellers from other Thai provinces
Travellers coming from Thailand’s other provinces will not be permitted into Phuket from 3rd-16th August 2021. Exceptions include those providing emergency medical services, those transporting essential goods, and those who have been asked to go to the province by the government. However, those who fall under those categories must still provide proof that they are fully vaccinated.
The island’s Governor Narong Woonciew authorised the mandate yesterday, 29th July 2021, as written in Bangkok Post.
Last week, the island recorded 148 new Covid-19 cases. The Department of Disease Control (DDC) stated that all of the new infections can be traced back to Thailand’s other provinces.
With regards to the continuation of the Phuket Sandbox Programme, the DDC will evaluate the situation over the next 14 days before making a decision.
Medical facilities at 36% capacity in Phuket
When assessing whether or not Phuket Sandbox can continue, the DDC’s main concern appears to be the availability of resources and medical facilities to handle the spread of Covid-19.
In addition to the number of hospital beds available to treat infected patients, the DDC is also gauging the availability of isolation facilities.
Phuket’s healthcare facilities are currently at 36% capacity. Dr. Kajornsak Kaewjaras, the Director General of the DDC, stated that the system is still able to treat infected patients who do not require ventilators.
He further stated that patients who contracted the disease from any of the nine cluster areas on the island have been placed into quarantine.
Act with prudence, but also grace
Given the current situation, we’re given new safety measures to abide by almost every day. While the regulations are there to keep us – and those around us – safe, it can be overwhelming to adjust to circumstances that seem to be rapidly changing.
So, while it’s important that we continue to stay safe and do our part in preventing the spread of Covid-19, it’s also just as important not to be too hard on ourselves for feeling some typa way about the situation. Give yourself some grace, as we’re all doing our best to deal with these unprecedented times.
Cover image adapted from: Alexis Antonia via Unsplash