All 25,000 Suvarnabhumi airport staff are expected to get their fourth COVID-19 vaccine shots by the end of next month as Thailand resumes its “Test & Go” quarantine waiver scheme for inoculated travellers on 1st February, airport director Kittipong Kittikachorn said.
Mr Kittikachorn said staff are also being randomly tested weekly for COVID-19 using antigen test kits to build confidence among new arrivals.
From 1st November — when the country first reopened to foreign arrivals — until Saturday, Suvarnabhumi airport admitted a total of 381,871 people from other countries.
Of them, 317,754 arrived on the Test & Go platform; 22,918 via the Sandbox programme; 30,418 under seven-day quarantine; 9,950 under 10-day quarantine and 831 under 14-day quarantine, it said.
Mr Kittikachorn said Suvarnabhumi airport staff have to strictly abode by the Public Health Ministry’s “Covid Free Setting” rules, which were set up in collaboration with other agencies, such as the airport’s COVID-19 Emergency Operation Centre, the International Communicable Disease Control, the Immigration Police Bureau, the Tourist Police Bureau, airlines and hotel operators.
The airport has also prepared taxis and limousines with SHA Plus certificates to take passengers under the Thailand Pass programme to their hotels in case the hotels do not have enough transport, he said.
Meanwhile, Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Disease Control Department, said his department has proposed an action plan to deal with COVID-19 as an endemic as opposed to a pandemic, and it is being considered by the national communicable disease committee.
The Public Health Ministry intends to classify the spread of COVID-19 as an endemic this year.
Dr Karnkawinpong said once the department’s action plan is approved by the committee, details will be unveiled to the public. The aim of the plan is to guide people on how they can return to a normal life, he said, adding that under the new classification, schools can resume onsite learning, and people can go back to making a living, he said.