As the coronavirus continues to close popular tourist destinations, Phuket officially joined the fold on Monday. The island in Thailand renowned for its seaside resorts has closed all entry and exit points, both on land and sea, until April 30.
In addition, an air travel ban will go into effect on April 10. According to U.S. News, Thailand had 39 million international arrivals last year, with Phuket receiving around 10 million visitors each year.
On land, travel will be limited with exceptions for food, essential items, emergency vehicles and vehicles carrying publications. Phuket’s famous beaches have been closed until further notice. Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana has asked both locals and visitors to remain indoors from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m.
“The decision is part of an effort to better control and prevent the spread of the new coronavirus,” said the governor. “By the governor’s authority under sections 22 and 35 of Communicable Disease Act, these places will be closed temporarily until further notice.”
At sea, ships have been banned from entering and leaving Phuket’s international port. Cargo ships are exempt from the ban, but crew members are not allowed to disembark, and the ships must leave as soon as all cargo has been unloaded.
Thailand has confirmed 1,524 cases of coronavirus as of Monday, March 30, with 49 cases reported in Phuket. Nine deaths have been confirmed to be related to coronavirus.
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