Phuket heads for lockdown

PHUKET, 31 March 2020: Phuket Island’s international airport will close to all commercial flights from 10 to 30 April as part of new measures that will put the island destination into virtual lockdown.

Officials shut the single road bridge that connects the island to the southern Thailand mainland, midnight 29 March. Only cargo transport will cross the bridge and essential services. Bus serves have halted at the weekend.

The bridge closure will also prevent tourists, who are staying in Khao Lak a resort village. 120 km north of Phuket, from transferring to Phuket island to catch flights from the international airport. They have until 10 April when all flights will close.

All land and sea connections were cut 30 March, and the island’s governor declared a daily curfew from 2000 to 0300 and placed beaches off-limits.

At the island international seaports, only cargo ships can unload, while the crew cannot disembark and must immediately leave Phuket as soon as delivery is completed.

The Phuket International Airport remains open but only until 2359 on 10 April.

On Monday morning, 30 March, a Condor charter from Frankfurt landed at Phuket on its way to Denpasar, Bali.

It picked up passengers in Bali and then flew back to Phuket to collect the few remaining European holidaymakers for the flight back travel Frankfurt late last night.

Qatar also flew to Phuket from Doha and will continue to offer flights from Phuket to Doha and beyond to repatriate travellers back to Europe.

Firefly continues for now flying between Phuket and Penang in Malaysia.

Azur Air flew tour groups back to Moscow Monday evening, and Nordwind flew to Krasnoyarsk a city in Syberia, Russia.

Phuket has also closed its beaches, zoos and walking street and shuttered up bars and entertainment spots.

Restaurants are open only for takeaway orders.  Supermarkets and meg-stores such as Makro remain open.