Phuket extends restrictions for 14 days due to high numbers of new COVID-19 cases

Passengers from Qatar Airways flight from Doha arrive at Thailand’s Phuket International Airport on August 11, 2021, as part of the “Phuket sandbox” scheme for travellers fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 coronavirus to visit without quarantine. (Photo by Jack TAYLOR / AFP)

Phuket has extended its restrictions until the end of August, including the sealing off of the island to outsiders, with some exceptions, due to continuing high numbers of new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases.

The exceptions are Phuket residents, visitors related to the “sandbox” scheme, and people who have been vaccinated with 2 shots of Sinovac or at least one shot of AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson at least 14 days prior to arrival, or those who have recovered from COVID-19 for at least 90 days. The visitors have to produce negative RT-PCR or Antigen test results not older than 72 hours.

Children under the age of 6, however, can enter the island when accompanied by a guardian who meets the requirements. Children age 6, but not over 17, have to produce a negative RT-PCR or Antigen test result not older than 72 hours. Students who are under 18, who need to enter the island for school, have to produce a student ID and take an RT-PCR test.

Phuket recorded over a hundred new COVID-19 cases yesterday (Saturday). All were locally transmitted and none are from the “sandbox” scheme. Accumulative infections on the island are now 1,940, with 14 deaths and 776 remaining in hospitals.

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