Hopes riding high for Phuket Airport to reopen Mid-June
Phuket officials are readying for Phuket International Airport to reopen mid-June, following a provincial order issued on Sunday night that opened interprovincial travel into and out of Phuket, and for hotels and all tourism-related businesses to resume operations.
The Phuket office of the Public Relations Department of Thailand (PR Phuket) this morning reported that Phuket airport will reopen on June 15, and boasted that Phuket is ready for arrivals with its control measures that have successfully countered the spread of COVID-19.
PR Phuket announced that all people passing through Phuket airport are to follow the same requirements as announced ahead of the planned May 16 re-opening, which fell through just hours before the airport was to reopen.
The announcement by PR Phuket this morning follows the Airports of Thailand management team at Phuket airport (AoT Phuket) yesterday announcing that they are ready to receive passengers under Phase 3 of the nationwide relaxation of the COVID-19 lockdown measures.
However, AoT Phuket made it plain in their announcement yesterday that they did not expect the airport to resume any operations until June 16.
AoT Phuket explained yesterday that no domestic flights were permitted to operate at Phuket airport under an order by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) which came into effect at 10:15 pm on May 29 and which is currently set to expire at 23:59 pm on June 15, “unless otherwise ordered”.
The notice yesterday also pointed out that any persons traveling via the airport are to register details of their intended travel through the PhuketSmartCheck-In-app and be issued their own personalized QR code to show airport staff and officials.
The notice made no mention of any Fit to Travel permit or any self-quarantine requirements.
The notice also made no mention that under another order by the CAAT all inbound international commercial passenger flights into Thailand remain banned until at least June 30.
Called today and asked about the airport reopening, Phuket International Airport General Manager Thanee Chuangchoo declined to comment.
Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Rungrote Thakurapunyasiri explained yesterday that no self-quarantine requirements applied to any persons entering Phuket, except for the eight risk provinces – Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Narathiwat, Yala, Krabi, Prachinburi, Samut Prakan and Chiang Mai – as announced by Phuket Governor Phakahong Tavipatana last Friday (May 29).
Also in line with Maj Gen Rungrote’s explanation yesterday, the AoT Phuket notice explained that people visiting Phuket for travel or business will see their registration remain valid for seven days, while people coming to Phuket to work and even Phuket residents returning home will both see their registrations remain valid for 30 days.
However, Maj Gen Rungrote yesterday stressed that there will be no fine or legal action for a person’s registration expiring while they are still in Phuket.
“If their QR Code expires, they must re-register again – but there is no need to leave Phuket because of this, and they will not be charged with breaking any law or be forced to pay a fine. They just need to re-register for local officials’ health records,” he said
Meanwhile, PR Phuket today reminded people looking to travel via the airport to allow an extra one to two hours to their planned travel time to account for any delays.
The PR Phuket notice also reminded people that the Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) urges people to observe the ‘new normal’ health regulations.