The Thai Government has blocked a decision by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAY) to reopen Phuket International Airport for domestic flights less than 24 hours before it was due to become operational again.
The decision, attributed to the government’s coronavirus watchdog, reverses an announcement made earlier this week by the CAAT that inbound flights could resume to the southern island for the first time in six weeks.
Phuket airport has been closed since March 3rd, initially as part of the complete lockdown of the island and then later extended until May 16th as part of preventative measures to stop the spread of covid-19
However, as the number of cases in Phuket has dwindled over recent days, it was expected that the airport could reopen to allow people to travel internally to the island on limited domestic flights.
The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration has recommended a further extension of the airport closure as they are concerned that an influx of people to Phuket could result in new transmissions of coronavirus.
The airport had been fully prepped for reopening with disinfectant sprays and deep cleaning taking place over the past few days in anticipation.
Officials at the airport apologized for the untimely announcement and change of plan.
Source: Bangkok Post