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Marine Department tightens measures at Phuket piers, warns about diving in waters off province
The Marine Department has increased screening measures for vehicles entering Phuket via sea channels at all piers in the province in line with measures to prevent imported cases that could affect the sandbox programme, director-general Witthaya Thamuang said on Wednesday.
Phuket’s governor had issued an order barring vehicles from entering the province from August 3 to 16, as part of stricter Covid-19 preventive measures. Exceptions are being made for ambulances, vehicles of rescue staff and financial institutions, and transport of medical tools, chemicals, medicines, animal feed, agricultural products, fuel, parcels, machines, construction material and auto parts.
“The measures also aim to increase travellers’ confidence in the linked tourism campaign called “7+7 Island Hopping”, which allows vaccinated tourists who have stayed in Phuket for seven days to travel to other nearby islands in Surat Thani, Krabi and Phang Nga for another seven days,” Witthaya said.
“However, under increased screening measures, tourists who leave Phuket for other provinces will not be allowed to enter Phuket again as they will not fit the exceptions to enter the island,” he made clear.
“Furthermore, tourists who get on boats that leave Phuket for diving activities in territorial waters of other provinces will not be allowed to return to the island even if they do not disembark anywhere throughout the trips,” he warned.
“[However], the department has presented this issue to Phuket’s communicable disease committee to find a workaround to facilitate tourists under the sandbox programme,” Witthaya added.
The starting date of the 7+7 Island Hopping programme is yet to be announced as it is still pending approval from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.
Published : August 05, 2021
By : THE NATION