The (tentative) Plan: Return of International Flights to Thailand

 | Thu 18 Jun 2020 15:04 ICT

Key parties in the Thai government are shaping evaluations leading to decisions between now and 30th June; for clarity nothing has been concluded as of today. But CityNews obtained a document featuring key points of discussion between the Tourism and Sports Ministry, Public Health Ministry, Interior Ministry, Foreign Ministry, Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).

What the foreign arrival process and guidelines look like now and could look like on 1st July:

Stage 1: Business people and patients seeking medical treatment in Thailand must have health insurance coverage. Once the request to enter is granted, the applicant must present the following at the airport:

  1. Boarding pass
  2. Certificate of entry
  3. Declaration form
  4. COVID test screening: a) Before leaving country; and b) Upon entry into Thailand
  5. Valid health insurance policy coverage of >$100,000 (COVID-19 coverage)

(It is currently recommended that the 14-day quarantine should be waived. Though there are concerns that this may lead to complaints from repatriating Thais who are still required to go into quarantine.)

A pre-arrival app must be downloaded which will allow for communications and tracking.

Most current limits under review (but not yet finalised) by the CCSA are:

Up to 1,000 foreign visitors per day (initially). Destinations in Thailand must meet SHA criteria in line with the plan for a ‘Travel Bubble’ with no permits to roam beyond the bubble/corridor and strict limits on tourist attractions. Stage one would be for business people and patients seeking medical treatment in Thailand and stage two for general tourists, once stage one is successful. It is likely to start country by country, with low infection and low risk countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea and China first. Subsequent countries such as France, Japan, Germany, Turkey and India will be considered by current infection numbers. As of today 22 of 38 Thai airports are open (58%).

Citylife also had the chance to interview an advisor to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) last month who said, “some expats have jobs here, have businesses, many have families. We are very aware of their plight and have come up with a working plan. Their lives are here; they are essentially Thai. Our plan is to stagger their return, because after all the safety of 65 million must come first. So we will bring back our Thais who are abroad first, and then the expats will begin to come back. The government is looking at the big picture.”

We met up with the official again this week and asked him for an update on the situation for expatriates returning home and he said that there is now a plan being formed, perhaps the above plan. He also said that there are currently an estimated six million Thais living outside Thailand. Out of that number 20,000 are waiting to return home, many of whom are currently making their way back eacy day, and they will be the priority at this time before foreigners.

Source: IC Partners Limited