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Inbound international passenger flight ban extended to June 30

Inbound international passenger flight ban extended to June 30

BANGKOK: Thailand has extended its ban on passenger flights for another month to June 30, citing the need to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.

COVID-19healthtransport
By Bangkok Post

Sunday 17 May 2020, 01:34AM


Passengers wait for a flight at Suvarnabhumi airport on Monday. Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb / Bangkok Post

Passengers wait for a flight at Suvarnabhumi airport on Monday. Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb / Bangkok Post

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) issued the announcement on its website yesterday evening (May 16) to extend the ban from May 31.

No passenger flights originating outside the country may land at Thai airports until June 30. The exceptions are state or military aircraft, emergency or technical landing, humanitarian aid, medicine and relief flights, repatriation and cargo aircraft.

The extended flight ban has led to speculation that the state of emergency decree may also be prolonged beyond May 31, although the number of new COVID-19 cases has remained steady for two weeks, even falling to zero on two days this week, reports the Bangkok Post.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, the Cabinet’s legal expert, said yesterday that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had asked him to consider which laws could be used to contain an outbreak if the decree was scrapped.

While Mr Wissanu admitted that the communicable disease control law gives provincial governors the power to take necessary actions, he said he worried about inconsistencies in its application.

He cited the examples of Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga, neighbouring provinces that had different restrictions, prompting migration of people in those provinces.

Thai Residential

“Such problems made it necessary to issue the emergency decree in the first place to trump provincial orders… Our only fear is that we’re going to have 77 different standards if we rely only on the disease control law,” he said, referring to the 76 provinces in Thailand plus Bangkok.

Discussing the flight ban extension, Mr Wissanu said it had nothing to do with a possible extension of the emergency decree. “If the emergency decree is scrapped, we can still restrict flights if the situation warrants it,” he said.

However, he ruled out the possibility that martial law or security laws, which give even more power to officials, would be used.

A difference between the emergency decree and the disease control law is that the latter gives power to governors to issue orders while the former centralises all power.

In addition, the emergency decree empowers the government to impose a curfew and bans criminal or administrative actions against officials performing their duties.

The emergency decree also allows the government to ban gatherings and to censor or stop any communication that it feels could undermine its efforts. The disease control law has no such provisions.

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friend | 17 May 2020 - 17:01:41

with this policy, the tourism-based economy will have a hard time continuing with their business, especially the smaller ones with fewer financial resources. The way forward is to try to cohabit with the virus, and it is obvious that with the first tourists the pathology will start again, we must learn to cohabit  with covid 19, especially now that we have the right medical knowledge

LALALA | 17 May 2020 - 09:24:02

Maybe they are waiting for the Visa amnesty to expire so that than airlines can overcharge passengers due to surging demand....

 

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