Thailand Re-opens Airports Around the Country

May 11, 2020.
Tags: Bangkok, Phuket, Patong, Hua hin, Thailand, Travel

Thailand is taking its first tentative steps toward reviving the airline and tourism industry with the re-opening of airports around the country to passenger flights.
This is good news to business owners in tourist areas and regional cities as well. The re-opening of the airports signals Thailand’s success in curbing the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. But travellers should beware that the country will re-impose a lockdown in the event of a sudden rise in the number of infections being reported. 

Airports Re-opened

Only airports in major cities in Thailand can serve international flights. But with the re-opening of domestic flights to regional airports, the residents of smaller cities in Thailand can travel freely once again.
Currently, the airports only open to domestic flights and cargo flights between the hours of 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM are 

  • Nan, Phitsanulok
  •  Phrae, Mae Sot
  •  Mae Hong Son
  • Lampang
  • Khon Kaen
  •  Nakhon Phanom
  • Buriram, Roi Et
  • Sakon Nakhon
  • Udon Thani
  • Chumphon
  • Trang
  • Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Ranong Airports.
Airports providing both domestic and international flights are 

  • Krabi
  • Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Rai
  • Don Mueang, Samui
  • Suvarnabhumi
  • Surat Thani
  • Hat Yai
  • Hua Hin
  • U-Tapao Airports.
Phuket Airport will continue to be closed to all passenger flights until at least May 15 as the island was a major hotspot of coronavirus infections. The local government has recently allowed road traffic to commence again, which has enabled Thai nationals to leave the island.

Passenger Screening

Passengers and crew are required to wear masks at all times, observe social distancing guidelines enforced by the Thai government, and be screened for the coronavirus at both the airport of origin and the destination airport. Passengers who have a fever will not be allowed to travel and may be quarantined.

  • Foreign nationals flying to airports within Thailand are also required to carry a health certificate that was issued by a qualified doctor or hospital no more than 72 hours before travelling. They must also produce a valid insurance policy that covers coronavirus treatment of up to US $100,000.

What the Re-opening Means for Tourism in Thailand

This is good news for the tourism industry in Thailand, for as long the infection rate continues to ease, more and more businesses will be allowed to open around the country. Tourism operators will be able to start offering their services once again as the tourism industry gears up.
But tourists should expect that social distancing guidelines will remain in place for some time even after a total elimination of new infections. Tourists should also wear face masks and carry hand sanitiser as part of the “new normal” life in Thailand for at least the next few months.
If you’re a foreign national visiting Thailand, here’s a checklist of items you should carry with you at all times when travelling by air or road:

  • Face mask
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Copy of health Insurance policy providing coverage of at least US $100,000
  • Qualified doctor or hospital-issued health certificate
  • Tourist visa for visitors wanting to stay in Thailand for more than a month
People can display no apparent symptoms but still be carrying the disease. This is called being asymptomatic, and it's one of the reasons that caused the virus to spread so widely and quickly around the world in the first place.
To prevent your holiday from turning into a disaster once the tourism is fully operational again, travellers should maintain the same social distancing standards they observed during the lockdown phase of the pandemic.

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