Stranded: Phuket closes ports, shuts bridges as infection spreads

A number of COVID-19 cases have hit workers in Phuket’s Patong Beach area, a busy nightlife quarter. File photo: Joe Sau
A number of COVID-19 cases have hit workers in Phuket’s Patong Beach area, a busy nightlife quarter. File photo: Joe Sau

Update April 1: After another six cases were announced on the island today, Phuket ordered its airport closed for the rest of April, effectively sealing off the island.

A famous tourist destination and resort island in the south has cut off most travel by land, air and sea until the end of April on order of its governor yesterday due to a worsening COVID-19 outbreak.

Starting at 12:01am this morning, no one may disembark or embark by boat on Phuket, a busy port of call for small craft and cruise ships, nor enter or leave by bridge, except for deliveries, emergency services and the media.

Update: Phuket International Airport was ordered closed from April 1 until April 30. 

The lockdown also exempts any other authorities granted permission by the prime minister. 

Under the emergency decree effective since Thursday, the order was issued by governor Pakkapong Taweewat. He cited the intensifying rate of COVID-19 infections as the reason to impose the travel restrictions. It comes on the heels of a 8pm to 3am curfew that has been imposed.

Six new cases were reported Sunday on Phuket, making for 53 known patients there.

Thailand’s tally yesterday hit 1,388 infections and seven deaths since the outbreak began in January.

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