Gov’t May Lift All Pandemic Travel Restrictions This Weekend

Passengers wait for intercity buses at Korat Bus Terminal on April 8, 2020.
Passengers wait for intercity buses at Korat Bus Terminal on April 8, 2020.

BANGKOK — Travel restrictions might be completely lifted this weekend as the country’s coronavirus caseload continues to wane, a senior official said Tuesday.

Deputy transport ministry perm-sec Anon Luangboriboon said the ministry will submit a proposal to the government on Thursday to resume all modes of public transportation, including long-distance bus and train services. The measure might take effect as soon as Saturday if the green light is given, he said.

Some public transport operators previously extended their service hours and resumed some of their long haul journeys following the government’s shortening of the curfew hours last month, though travelling to the southern region remains largely difficult since many provinces there restricted inbound travels.

Nineteen provinces are also expected to ease their lockdown measures soon, the transport official said.

Intercity buses operated by The Transport Co. have restarted their service for its 15 routes serving between Bangkok and northern, northeastern, and eastern provinces since Monday. Only Thais will be allowed to book a ticket due to emergency decree restrictions, the company said.

Meanwhile, the southern island of Phuket reopened all of its entry and exit points on Monday. Tourists are allowed to stay on the island, though they must have their health checked and register with the province’s tracking system, governor Pakpong Thawiphat said.

Phuket was sealed off in April following an uptick in the number of coronavirus patients reported on the island and the surrounding provinces. A total of 227 people in Phuket were found to contract the virus as of now.