Transport Company resumes service, bans foreigners

PHOTO: Love and Road

The wheels on the bus go round and round. But not for foreigners living in Thailand.

The Transport Company, the state operator of intercity bus services, announced today that foreigners are banned from its services due to the Emergency Decree. Although services have resumed on most of their routes across the country, foreign travellers are not allowed to board because they do not have Thai national ID cards. Well that’s the official excuse according to a service agent. Asked whether passports can be used instead, the agent said “no”.

“They don’t hold Thai ID cards, so they can’t board our buses. We need them for identification purposes.”

“It’s the company policy, sorry for any inconvenience.”

The company also announced on its website that it reserves the right to book tickets for Thai nationals only, citing an unspecified clause of the Emergency Decree.

Other interprovincial bus providers have no such rule. Private operators Nakhonchai Air and Sombat Tour say foreigners are welcome on board, but are encouraged to check local quarantine requirements since some provinces still enforce 14 day quarantine for foreigners.

But Thaiger has had four messages in the past week saying they were unable to buy tickets or board Sombat Tour buses. This message from a New Zealand expat who tried to board a Sombat Tour bus.

“I wanted to go and visit my friend in Bangkok and she went ahead and booked a ticket on สมบัติทัวร์ มิตรแท้เพื่อนเดินทาง (Sombat Tour Bus Company) from Chiangmai to Bangkok.

The next morning I got a call from the company saying foreigners are not allowed on the bus. I am deeply offended by this discrimination. I have been in Thailand well before Covid arrived. Does this mean I can’t travel on planes also?”

The State Railway of Thailand says foreigners are also allowed to board long distance trains.

Domestic travel restrictions, in place since April, were mostly lifted after the government shortened the curfew by an hour on May 29 due to lower numbers of Covid-19 cases reported nationwide. (No new cases were reported today, according to the assistant spokeswoman for the government’s Covid-19 crisis centre.)

The country’s cumulative cases of infection now stand at 3,125. 80 patients are being treated in hospital, while 2,987 have recovered, putting the recovery rate well over 95%. There have been 58 deaths.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

Covid-19 NewsExpatsThailand NewsTransport News

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