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The travel ban on international flights to Thailand will be finally lifted today (July 1 2020) in an attempt to get things back to normal. The announcement was made on Monday by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT). There will be some conditions and terms in regards to the flights that will be allowed.
The announcement detailed some limitations for those wishing to travel to Thailand. Those for consideration to enter Thailand will include foreign travel to business travellers, and those with work permits and spouses in Thailand.
Thailand Covid-19 Pandemic Stats
The travel ban on international flights and travel was first imposed in April 2020 in an attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19. In hindsight, it was a smart move as Thailand has been one of the least hit nations in terms of pandemic cases. Thailand has only had 58 deaths due to Covid-19 with approximately 3,171 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic during the time of writing. Nearly half of those deaths were in Bangkok. And although testing might not be as prevalent in Thailand as we see across Northern Europe and the USA, Thailand has done a great job to limit the number of deaths.
As we speak, the current Covid-19 stats worldwide are 10.4 million confirmed cases and over 500,000 deaths. Some of the most hard-hit areas during the pandemic were Italy and the UK, although we are only now starting to see the virus spread across America.
Thailand Opening its Doors to Select Travelers
With no deaths in the past month and very few new Covid-19 cases across Thailand, the time is well and truly here to start opening up to international travel. However, CAAT has noted that persons entering Thailand must adhere to rules and conditions that work in tandem under the Immigration Act, communicable disease laws and the laws of the emergency decree.
Some domestic flights have already been running since the governments’ phase-4 easing of measures after implementation on June 15 2020. Approximately 14,000 passengers daily have used domestic flights in the past two weeks since the local travel ban was lifted. Although this is a significant drop from the usual average of 47,000 daily passengers from this time last year, we are starting to see a bit of normality.
Getting Back to Normal
We have seen selected hotels and resorts open for the past month across the Kingdom. And we are now starting to see regular businesses open from July 1, 2020, onwards. Students have returned to school from today as well as some bars, nightclubs and event venues have opened.
Although the entertainment industry is taking a collective sigh of relief as bans are lifted, there are still some unhappy bar and nightclub establishment owners in Thailand. It was reported last week that entertainment venues would have to adhere to 22 regulations if they want to open. Some of these regulations are standard such as wearing masks and keeping social distancing rules in place.
It all comes down to the safety of the general public, and although we can see that the spread of Covid-19 in Thailand has come to an almost standstill, we cannot take people’s health and safety for granted. The next phase of openings shows that the Thai approach to opening a “little by little” has been very successful in curbing new cases while getting back to normal.
The lift on the international travel ban in Thailand is another step in the right direction. All we have at the moment is the news from the CAAT, so we will see over the next week or so how this will work and pan out.