01.07.2020, 09:53

Thailand reopens to international flights from today

Thailand reopens to international flights from today

The commercial flight ban that has been in place across the kingdom since April 3 will be lifted from Wednesday, July 1.

Commercial passenger flights will be allowed to operate flights landing at international airports across the country, including Bangkok, Samutprakarn, Chiang Mai and Phuket.

Restrictions on who can fly into the country remain in place, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.

Commercial flights carrying Thai nationals and their family members, residents, students, medical and wellness tourists and those with special permission to enter the country will be allowed to land in Thailand. All other passengers will not be allowed entry as authorities work to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Anyone entering the country must adhere to screening procedures in place at all airports and follow mandatory 14-day quarantine procedures at their own cost.

Medical visitors could restart crippled tourism industry

Medical tourists can enter the country on the basis that they go directly to quarantine at hospitals and health centres.

Thailand is ranked fourth in the world for its medical tourism industry, which is worth about $600 million (Dh2.2 billion) annually, according to the International Medical Travel Journal. Thai authorities are keen to revive this carefully regulated travel sector to help rejuvenate at least part of the country’s crippled tourism industry.

Medical and wellness visitors typically account for nearly 10 per cent of Thailand’s 35 million annual tourists, and the UAE is a key market says the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The three most requested medical treatments in Thailand overall are medical check-ups, plastic surgery and orthopedic surgery.

Cargo, repatriation and humanitarian flights were never banned from entering Thailand and can continue to fly in and out of the kingdom.

Easing of restrictions

The opening of Thailand’s borders to some commercial flights comes as the country further eases movement restrictions.

From Wednesday, July 1, bars, karaoke venues and pubs can reopen until midnight following safety guidelines that include social distancing between tables and operating at reduced capacity.

Thailand most recently confirmed two new coronavirus cases, both imported from abroad. At the time of writing, the country had gone five weeks without any recorded local transmission of the Covid-19 virus.