South Asia ban widens

South Asia ban widens

'Yaksa' statues at Suvarnabhumi airport are adorned with face masks to remind the public to remain vigilant during the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
'Yaksa' statues at Suvarnabhumi airport are adorned with face masks to remind the public to remain vigilant during the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Thailand has expanded an entry ban on Indian nationals to include non-Thai travellers from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.

The ban on issuing a certificate of entry (COE) applies to foreigners departing from these countries and those travelling in or transiting through them.

The move has been made to guard against spread of a highly contagious Covid-19 variant first detected in India.

All eligible travellers arriving here from abroad are required to obtain a COE as part of the kingdom's Covid-19 measures.

The Thai embassy in New Delhi had already decided late last month to cancel all COEs issued to non-Thais from India due to the virus spike there.

On Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to stop issuing COEs to non-Thai nationals travelling from the three other South Asian countries that are experiencing widespread transmissions of the variant.

Ministry spokesman Tanee Sangrat said the decision was made at the request of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) following discovery of the fast-spreading variant in travellers from Pakistan.

"The CCSA has confirmed reports that one traveller from Pakistan into Thailand has been infected by the Covid-19 variant first detected in India," said Mr Tanee.

"The CCSA therefore requested the MFA to temporarily suspend issuance of COEs to all foreigners travelling from countries that have widespread transmission of the variant. In response to this, the MFA will comply with the CCSA's recommendations and temporarily suspend the issuance of COEs to all foreign nationals travelling from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal into Thailand."

Mr Tanee stressed that the suspension of COEs was a temporary measure and did not affect Thai nationals travelling from those countries.

"Thai nationals, diplomats on mission in Thailand and their families and permanent residents travelling from these countries are still able to return to Thailand if they so wish," he said.

Vocabulary

  • ban: officially not allowed to do something - การห้ามอย่างเป็นทางการ
  • eligible: allowed by rules or laws to do something or to receive something - มีสิทธิชอบธรรมตามกฎหมาย  เอื้อด้วยกฎหมาย
  • expand: to make or become larger (noun form: expansion) - ทำให้กว้าง, ทำให้ขยาย
  • issue: to give or provide something official - แจกจ่าย
  • mission: a group of people doing given an important official job to do, especially when they are sent to another country such as working in an embassy - คณะทูต
  • obtain: to get something that you want or need, especially by going through a process that is difficult - ได้มา, ได้รับ
  • spike: a sudden increase - การพุ่งพรวดขึ้น
  • transit: the act of moving from one place to another - การเดินทางผ่าน
  • variant: a thing that is a slightly different form or type of something else - สิ่งที่ผันแปร, สิ่งที่แตกต่างกัน
  • widen: to become wider; to make something wider - ทำให้กว้าง, ทำให้ขยายออก, ทำให้ขยายกว้าง
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