Here’s the latest update on the status of interprovincial travel in Thailand under the current stricter COVID-19 controls nationwide, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Currently, only essential travel is allowed to and from the 5 provinces declared as maximum controlled areas by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). People who want to travel to and from Samut Songkhram, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi, and Trat must receive approval from the local authorities.
Interprovincial travel to and from the 23 highly controlled provinces, 11 controlled provinces and 38 provinces under surveillance has not been prohibited but discouraged. Travellers may be required to undergo strict screening measures according to specific COVID-19 control measures at each province. See TAT update: Summary of provincial COVID-19 control measures as of 7 January 2021.
DOMESTIC AIR TRAVEL
Most airlines are operating as usual with the exception of some reduced frequencies and suspension of service, but are offering flexible rescheduling options. Meanwhile, U-Tapao International Airport suspends flights until 31 January, 2021.
Passengers from Samut Sakhon and maximum and highly controlled areas are required to contact the Airport’s staff and register with the Thai Chana or similar contact tracing application and enter a 14-day home quarantine.
Thai Air Asia – Passengers who booked flights from 1 November, 2020, to 31 March, 2021, for travel before 31 March, 2021, are able to rebook travel before 30 June, 2021, with unlimited changes and free of charge. Flight changes must be made at least 48 hours before the original schedule. For more information, go to www.airasia.com.
Bangkok Airways – The airline recently announced flight reductions, route suspensions, route launch delays, temporary closure of ticketing offices, and closure of all passenger lounges (see: Bangkok Airways announces temporary changes in January-February 2021). Passengers who booked flights between 30 December, 2020, to 31 January, 2021, are able to rebook free of charge. Flight changes must be made 24 hours before the original scheduled departure. For more information call the Bangkok Airways Customer Service Centre on 1771 or call +66 (0) 2270 6699 from 08.00-20.00 Hrs., or go to www.bangkokair.com.
Nok Air – For travel until 31 March, 2021, passengers can change the date free of charge, but it must be done at least 24 hours before the original itinerary and the new travel date must be before 30 June, 2021. For more information call the Nok Air Customer Service Centre on 1318 or go to www.nokair.com.
Thai Lion Air – Flights scheduled until 15 January, 2021, and issued before 29 December, 2020, can be changed one time for travel before 31 March, 2021, free of charge. Except for the blackout dates of 26-28 February, 2021. For more information, call +66 (0) 2529 9999 or go to www.lionairthai.com.
Thai Smile Airways – Passengers holding Thai Smile Airways tickets for travel before 28 February, 2021, can change the date on the same route free of charge. This must be done before 28 February, 2021. For more information, call the Thai Smile Customer Service Centre on 1181 or +66 (0) 2118 8888, or go to www.thaismileair.com.
Thai Vietjet Airlines – All domestic tickets booked and paid for before 1 January, 2021, for travel between 5-31 January, 2021, can be changed one time on the original route free of charge. Flights must be changed at least 3 hours before the original departure, and passengers must travel before 31 March, 2021. For more information, call +66 (0) 2089 1909, add LINE ID @Thaivietjet, email email@example.com, or go to www.vietjetair.com.
Train – The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is suspending train services on 42 routes, including 12 weekend tourist trains and 30 commercial trains (8 to the North, 12 to the Northeast and 10 to the South. This in addition to the earlier suspension of its Wongwian Yai – Maha Chai train services.
Passengers from Samut Sakhon and maximum and highly controlled areas are required to contact the SRT’s screening points, register with the Thai Chana or similar contact tracing application and enter a 14-day home quarantine.
The SRT is offering refunds for individuals who have train reservations from 6 to 31 January, 2021. Passengers who have purchased individual train tickets can request a full refund if paid for in cash. Those who purchase group tickets can request a full refund not less than 1 day before the travel date. Passengers who booked tickets via the Internet can request a full refund by attaching the ticket file and e-mailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Airport Rail Link is also operating as per normal.
Bus – The Department of Land Transport (DLT) has asked all public transportation operators and stations nationwide to strictly apply the COVID-19 control measures, especially on travellers to and from the 5 maximum controlled areas, who must have a permit for essential travel only.
All passengers are required to undergo health screening – temperature check – and register with the Thai Chana contact tracing application or complete a contact form issued by the DLT.
Bus companies are offering ticket postponement options.
Transport Company Limited – Postponing tickets can be done on the company’s website busticket.in.th website by logging in and changing the travel date, or in person at ticket booths. Any trip can be postponed free of change 1 time within 30 days of the date of travel but must be done 4 hours before the scheduled departure.
Nakhonchai Air – Tickets can be postponed at www.nakhonchaiair.com, go to the NCA Booking page. Customers will receive a new ticket without a specified travel date that is valid for 1 year after the postponement of the original ticket.
Sombat Tour – For travel scheduled for 26 December, 2020, to 31 January, 2021, ticket holders can request a refund, subject to a 10% fee, via sombattour.com
Siam First – Trip can be postponed within 3 months of the date on the original ticket and must be done five hours before departure, subject to a 10% fee. Cancellation of travel must be done before the date of travel, subject to a 5% fee, or on the date of travel at a 10% fee. For more details, call +66 (0) 2954 3601-1 or go to siamfirst.co.th.
Thai Route – Visit the company website www.thairoute.com, and go to the top menu bar and click ‘Manage booking’. Fill in the request in accordance with the regulations of the respective operating bus companies.
Royal Passenger Liner has announced temporary suspension of the Pattaya-Hua Hin Ferry services until further notice. royalferrygroup.com
Raja Ferry Port has announced rescheduling of ferry services on the Don Sak-Samui and Don Sak-Phangan routes. From 10 January, 2021, there will be services during 05.00-18.00 Hrs., with suspension of some ferries. More details at Facebook m.me/rajaferryport, add LINE ID @rajaferryport, or go to www.rajaferryport.com
Seatran Ferry has adjusted the timetable on the Don Sak – Samui (Nathon) route. From 11 January, 2021, there will be services every hour from 05.00-18.00 Hrs., with some scheduled departures suspended during Monday-Thursday (09.00 Hrs., 13.00 Hrs., and 19.00 Hrs.); Friday-Saturday (19.00 Hrs.) and Sunday (09.00 Hrs. and 19:00 Hrs.). More details at Facebook page, Seatran Ferry, or add LINE ID @seatranferry, or call centre 1381.
Seatran Discovery has announced a temporary suspension of ferry services to all islands in the Gulf of Thailand including Ko Samui, Ko Phangan and Ko Tao from 11 January, 2021, until further notice. However, the company continues to operate its hourly car ferry service from Don Sak to Ko Samui (Nathon) as per usual.
Phuket – all ports remain open for ferry services to the islands in the Andaman Sea, including Ko Phi Phi, Ko Khai, Phang Nga Bay and Ko Racha. However, some ferry companies have announced a reduction of the service frequencies. These ports include Asia Marina Phuket, Boat Lagoon, Rassada Pier, Royal Phuket Marina, Ao Po Pier, Yacht Haven Marina, Bang Rong Pier, Sea Angel Pier, and Jian Wanich Pier.
Krabi – Khlong Jirad Pier remains open for a daily ferry service to the Krabi-Ko Phi Phi route.
TAT is constantly providing updates on the tourism-related COVID-19 situation in Thailand at the TAT Newsroom (https://www.tatnews.org/).
Photo: Bangkok Post