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'Travel bubbles' plan could be delayed

A traveler at Don Mueang airport in Bangkok on Sunday. Restriction on international air transport travel is likely to prolong on the delay of "travel bubbles". (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

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Travel bubbles are likely to be delayed after several countries eyed for the scheme have seen a resurgence of Covid-19 cases, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).

CAAT director-general Chula Sukmanop said even though talks about travel bubble arrangements continue with a number of countries including China, Japan and South Korea, the scheme will be put on hold due to a resurgence in infections. He said Thailand will be closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation this month.

The government has come up with a plan to launch travel bubbles with several countries with low coronavirus risk, originally starting in August.

Mr Chula said that local tourism is vital to rebuilding the country's aviation industry and noted that demand for domestic travel is picking up after airlines resume operations and business operators launch promotional campaigns to boost travel.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said on Tuesday that public safety is the top priority for the government as it considers reopening the country to international travellers.

Mr Saksayam called on airlines to wait for a clear policy from the government and the CAAT when asked about reports about airlines preparing to resume international flights in September.

Earlier an epidemiologist at Chulalongkorn University urged the government to use extreme caution when considering travel bubble arrangements because the Covid-19 pandemic is still ravaging many parts of the world.

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Vocabulary:

aviation : the flying of aircraft - การบิน

caution : careful thought and lack of hurry in order to try to avoid risks or danger - ความระมัดระวัง

epidemiologist : a scientist who studies the spread and control of diseases - นักระบาดวิทยา

extreme : much more severe or serious than usual - ที่รุนแรงที่สุด

monitor : to regularly check something or watch someone in order to find out what is happening - จับตา เฝ้าระวัง ตรวจตรา

on hold : delayed; not happening at the expected time - หยุดไว้ชั่วคราว

originally : the situation that existed at the beginning of a particular period or activity, especially before something was changed - อย่างเป็นอันแรก, โดยแรกเริ่ม

priority : something important that must be done first or which needs more attention than something else - การมาก่อน

ravage : to destroy something or damage it very badly - ทำให้เสียหาย, ทำลาย, ล้างผลาญ

resurgence : a new increase of activity or interest in a particular subject or idea which had been forgotten for some time - การฟื้นคืน, การกลับสู่สภาพ

scheme : a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people - แผนการ โครงการ

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