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Thailand’s flight ban might extend “indefinitely”

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has hinted at the possibility of extending the international commercial flight ban while the Covid-19 pandemic situation remains critical in other countries

Boris Sullivan

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The ban on international commercial flights will remain while the Covid-19 pandemic situation remains critical in many countries, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) said.

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Thailand allows no ordinary tourists entry at the moment, while no travel bubble programmes with other countries have been implemented yet.

Indefinite Ban

It is an “indefinite ban”, said CAAT director Chula Sukmanop and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) would monitor the global situation before deciding when the flights could resume.

As of now, no commercial airlines may operate flights into and out of Thailand, and only a limited number of foreign businesspeople may enter the country for business purposes.

These people, along with Thai nationals looking to return to the country on repatriation flights, had booked to come to Thailand, said Mr Chula.

Thailand also requires foreigners seeking medical treatment in Thailand under a special entry programme to stay at a contracted hospital for at least 14 days to ensure they don’t bring in and spread the virus.

500 passengers per day

Thai authorities limit the maximum number of incoming passengers to 500 per day in line with Covid-19 precautionary measures.

Between April 4 and Aug 3, 66,329 Thais (43,297 by air, 22,203 by land, and 829 by sea) safely returned home. Over the next two months, at least 15,145 Thais living in 97 countries and territories have expressed a desire to come home, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

All Thai returnees have to go through state or local quarantine, paid for by the government or alternative quarantine if they so prefer, but at their own expense.

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