Ban on inbound flights to Thailand to be extended for another 15 days


The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) is planning to extend the ban on inbound flights for another 15 days to prevent a possible rapid increase of Covid-19 infections as over 1,000 Thais are scheduled to return to the country this week.

If the ongoing inbound flights’ ban, which will end on April 30, is extended, it will be the fourth in a series of temporary aviation closures which began on April 4.

Officials usually assess the situation every 15 days and “we may need to further disallow passenger aircraft from entering Thailand, but a final say will be given by the Public Health Ministry,” CAAT chief Chula Sukmanop said on Monday.

Daily reports of new Covid-19 cases in the country have been below 20 since April 21, except on Saturday when the numbers rose to 53 due to infections recorded among a group of detained illegal migrant workers.

However, Mr Chula said, authorities cannot be complacent as infection rates overseas, including in neighbouring countries, remain high, making the situation volatile.

Early this month, the CAAT has extended its aviation closure to April 18 after the first ban ended on April 6.

It then extended the ban from April 18 to this Thursday, citing the need to continue measures to control entry into the country.

The latest ban was announced as more than 1,000 Thais from six countries are set to return home this week, which has prompted the military to ramp up assistance measures.

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Marcus Felipe