A ban on international scheduled flights into Thailand remains in force “while the pandemic situation remains critical in many countries.”
“It’s an indefinite ban.”
This was further confirmation from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand yesterday in response to clarification of the country’s ban on allowing foreign tourists back into Thailand. CAAT director Chula Sukmanop and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration say they are monitoring the “global situation” before deciding when commercial flights would resume back into Thailand.
For their part, the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking has instructed the government that many foreigners have signalled their intention to visit Thailand on business but officials need to check if there are enough state quarantine facilities for the mandatory 14 day quarantine period, still an encumbrance under the current restrictions and limitations on travel.
Meanwhile more private quarantine providers were applying to become registered as state quarantine providers – up-scale 4 and 5 star hotels, usually at inflated prices associated with the security and quarantine issues. People using these facilities have to pay their quarantine expenses themselves whilst official government-provided quarantine facilities remain extremely limited as Thai citizens keep returning from overseas.
Additionally, they will need to notify Thai officials of their whereabouts whilst in the country.
Foreigners visiting Thailand under the exemptions for medical tourism will have to stay at a government-approved hospital for at least 14 days.
“As of now, no commercial airlines are permitted to operate flights into and out of Thailand and only a number of foreign businesspeople are allowed to enter the country for business purposes.”
At the moment the government is limiting arrivals of foreigners, and Thais, to 500 per day in line with the CSSA’s precautionary measures. This applies across the board to all types of visitors trying to get back into the country, creating a bureaucratic nightmare for embassies around the world.
All people intending to fly to Thailand, including Thais, are tested before they are allowed to get on the flights. But some have tested negative before getting on the flight only to test positive later during their quarantine period due to the delayed incubation pattern of Covid-19 symptoms in some people.
A deputy governor of the TAT candidly forecast that there will likely be no general tourism until at least the end of 2020, even up to Chinese New Year in February 2021. He made the comments at a Krabi seminar last week.
Whilst the global pandemic continues to fester in many countries around the world, causing economic havoc as government’s struggle to contain the virus with lockdowns, some small window of hope today with a flattening of the world new-case and death numbers.
And, of course, there is always the prospect of a viable and safe vaccine becoming available some time in the medium to long-term as some 165 different labs, commercial and government-funded, attempt to bring a Covid-19 vaccine to market.
This post was last modified on August 13, 2020 9:27 am
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