Easing Of Restrictions Sees Domestic Flights Back At Full Capacity

Chiang Mai Airport Thailand

Domestic flights have resumed operating at full capacity in line with the latest easing of COVID-19 restrictions which took effect yesterday.

Suttipong Kongpool, director-general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), said the revised guidelines for airlines operating domestic flights have lifted capacity limits on domestic flights.

The number of passengers was previously limited to 75% of the full capacity.

Under the new guidelines which took effect yesterday, airlines can also operate more flights but have to comply with the nighttime curfew which has been shortened by two hours from 11pm to 3am.

He said the revisions are in line with the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration’s decision to relax the virus curbs. The airlines are still required to implement in-flight COVID-19 prevention measures, he said.

Meanwhile, public health authorities will hold talks with various agencies in the transport and tourism sectors to work out further details ahead of the 1st November reopening scheme, said a senior public health official.

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Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said business operators in 15 provinces where fully vaccinated foreign tourists from low-risk countries can visit without quarantine should have enough time to prepare.

More than 20 countries have been proposed as low-risk but the list has yet to be finalised, he said.

When announcing the reopening plan to restart the tourism industry last week, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said there would be at least 10 “low risk” countries, including Singapore, Germany, China and the US.

Dr Karnkawinpong said there are four major COVID-19 prevention measures for businesses to observe.

They are vaccination, universal protection, the adoption of safe environments and rigorous screening especially in high-risk establishments such as air-conditioned restaurants.

“A meeting will be held next week with several agencies and business operators. We will have more details by then. But with the measures being taken we believe the operators will be ready for reopening.”

As for international tourists arriving from low-risk countries, he said they will undergo COVID-19 tests upon arrival and wait for results at SHA Plus or ASQ hotels before they can enjoy the rest of their holiday.

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