In an effort to curb soaring COVID-19 cases in Thailand, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) said domestic flights to and from the capital Bangkok, as well as to other high risk regions, will be suspended from July 21.
Those services that are still operating will have their load factors capped at 50%.
The country reported 11,397 infections and 101 deaths on July 18, the highest daily count yet in Thailand.
Despite the pandemic, the status of Phuket's sandbox remains unchanged with international visitors still welcomed to the resort island. The system was expanded on July 16 to incorporate islands around Koh Samui despite at least six COVID-19 infections in overseas passengers arriving at Phuket (HKT) being reported.
Known as “Samui Plus,” a scheme in place allows fully vaccinated passengers to travel from HKT to Koh Samui (USM) and the surrounding islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao islands. Flights from USM to Bangkok (BKK/DMK) remain suspended.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand expects 1,000 visitors traveling to USM within the first month under this framework.
Jetstar Asia also recently announced it will resume 2X-weekly flights to HKT from Singapore (SIN) starting Sept. 3.
Photo credit: Romeo Gacad / AFP / Getty Images