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No end in sight for flights ban

Empty seats at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province last month. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

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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 that a large number of foreigners intended coming to Thailand on business, so officials were checking if there were enough alternative state quarantine (ASQ) facilities available.

More private accommodation providers were applying to become ASQ-certified, he said, restating that those arriving would have to pay their quarantine expenses themselves.

A number of foreign people seeking medical treatment in Thailand are required to stay at a contracted hospital for at least 14 days, he said, adding: "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.

No ordinary tourists are allowed entry at the moment, while no travel bubble programmes with other countries are agreed yet, he said.

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agreed (adj): having said that you will do what somebody wants or that you will allow something to happen - ซึ่งตกลงกันแล้ว

alternative : another choice - ทางเลือก, ตัวเลือก

certified : having a document confirming that someone or something meets a necessary standard - ที่มีการรับรอง

commercial : for business purposes - เกี่ยวกับการค้า

expenses : money spent in doing a particular job, or for a particular purpose - ค่าใช้จ่าย

in sight : of something that is likely to happen soon, especially an improvement of some kind - น่าจะเกิดขึ้นเร็ว ๆ นี้

indefinite (adj): of a period of time with no fixed end - ไม่มีข้อกำหนด

ordinary : not unusual or different in any way - ธรรมดา, ปกติ

repatriation (noun): sending someone back to a country that is legally their own - การส่งกลับประเทศ

resume : to begin again after stopping for a period of time - เริ่มอีกครั้ง, กลับมาอีกครั้ง

situation : all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place - สถานการณ์


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