The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has confirmed that Phuket will impose a full shutdown on flights in and out of the island next month, from 10-30 April 2020. The southern island province has already sealed its borders by land and sea, in an effort to contain the on-going coronavirus (Covid-19) situation.
“Shutting down the air transport route requires seven days notification in advance according to Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT)’s regulations,” confirmed provincial governor Phakkhaphong Thawiphat in a statement yesterday (29/3). “Therefore, the shutdown order will come into effect on April 10 and will last until April 30, just like other transport routes,” continued the governor.
Phuket is connected to the Thai mainland via the Sarasin Bridge. This route too will be closed off at the Tha Chatchai Checkpoint. All transport, except for vehicles carrying essential goods such as gas, medical supplies and food into Phuket, will need permission from the Public Health Ministry before they can enter the island province.
In addition to the air and road closures, Phuket has turned its attention to blocking arrivals from the sea; the Ministry of Public Health have confirmed both international and inter-provincial vessels will face the same restrictions. Crews on foreign ships allowed to enter Phuket are now prohibited from disembarking. Crews from domestic ships can disembark in Phuket, but only after providing a doctor’s certificate to prove their health. Additional screening will also be in place.
Last week, the Thai government invoked the Emergency Decree Act of 2005, in order to increase executive powers and contain the spread of the virus. Thailand is now under emergency decree until 30th April 2020, during which time no foreign nationals will be able to enter the country. The emergency measures also include restriction of movement and closures to a range of businesses and public buildings nationwide.
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