The milestone was soon followed by the first interprovincial bus out of Phuket in months departing for Hat Yai at 7:30am. In total three buses left the bus terminal for Hat Yai today.
Chop Puttasupa, chief of Phuket Bus Terminal 2, said that the bus services resuming journeys into and out of Phuket resumed smoothly, with all bus operators and passengers cooperating well with the new health guidelines in effect.
Mr Chop said that although buses to nearly all destinations previously served by operators were now operating, the timetable is still very limited as only about half of the bus operators have resumed services.
“Operators are still finalising what services they can provide. We expect the timetable to be better in about a week,” he said.
People were preferring to book seats through online agents instead of buying them at the bus terminal, he said, but the limited number of seats on each bus were selling quickly.
“Each bus is allowed to offer only 22 seats [under the new health guidelines], but about 90% of those seats are being used,” Mr Chop said.
Mr Chop said that the first bus from Bangkok was expected to arrive in Phuket at about 8am on Monday (Jun 8).
A bus is currently scheduled to depart Phuket for the capital at 5:20pm next Tuesday (Jun 9).
Bangkok is currently one of eight risk provinces named by Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana from which all people must observe a 14-day self-quarantine after arriving in Phuket.
People arriving from Nonthaburi, Chiang Mai, Narathiwat, Yala, Prachinburi, Samut Prakan and Krabi also must observe a 14-day self-quarantine after arriving in Phuket.
Mr Chop explained that bus operators and bus terminal staff will play no part in ensuring that such travellers arriving in Phuket by bus will observe the self-quarantine order.
“The relevant Phuket officials will be informed of such people by receiving information from the Thai Chana app [web platform] or documents,” Mr Chop said.
Additional reporting by Khunanya Wanchanwet