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The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has published a statement that doesn’t provide much hope for those who were speculating about regular passenger traffic returning to Thailand anytime soon.

According to CAAT director Chula Sukmanop the ban on regular air traffic will remain indefinitely until an improvement of the global Covid-19 situation has been assessed by the local response team in Thailand (CCSA).

Thailand has previously instituted an emergency decree that banned all non-citizens arriving in Thailand from midnight on March 25 and this ban has continuously been extended ever since.

Thai nationals have been repatriated throughout the last few months via repatriation flights following a clearance process by their local Thai embassy / consulate.

The government has also gradually eased the option for foreigners to re-enter Thailand if there is a basis for approving such requests such as having a local spouse, work visa or residence among other categories.

Flights that are currently going to Thailand are mostly empty of passengers but they are able to carry passengers back out of TH as regular commercial traffic.

As per a Bangkok Post article today the CAAT director doesn’t have very good news for all those who were hoping that the country would open up it’s skies and airport for incoming traffic again.

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

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.

Mr Chula said the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) had told the government that a large number of foreigners intended coming to Thailand on business, so officials were checking if there were enough state quarantine (ASQ) facilities available. …

“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.”

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

The maximum number of incoming passengers is limited to 500 per day in line with Covid-19 precautionary measures.

Tourism arrivals remain unavailable for the time being and any attempt to establish travel bubbles with seemingly “save” countries have fallen apart as most of them experienced a relapse in cases during the past weeks.

Thai citizens have the choice of a state quarantine facility paid for by the government or if they prefer a more comfortable accommodation to select the Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) which has to be paid out of pocket. Foreigners can only select ASQ which ranges between 50,000-130,000 Baht depending on the level of the hotel, the most luxurious one currently available being the Anantara Siam (ex Four Seasons).

It’s unlikely that there will be any opening towards general tourism in the near future. There is no public or political appetite to open up the country again and exposing the population to the risk of imported Covid cases.

Conclusion

I get daily messages from readers but also friends who ask when it’s possible to travel to Thailand again and unfortunately the answer to that is that there’s nothing on the horizon that suggests an improvement to the current situation.

The issue is not only on Thailand’s side but many countries would also require travelers to go back into quarantine once returning from abroad. We already have mid August now and the new year comes closer with large steps, before we know it it’ll be 2021 and while it was extremely difficult to imagine that many countries remain shut down for that long this appears to be the direction we’re heading to. Japan, Korea and Thailand are just a few examples.

It’ll be very interesting to see if Bali will open as anticipated four weeks from now and how that reopening is going to work out for them.

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