Deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said yesterday ministers and executive officials from the Public Health, Transport and Tourism and Sports ministries will put on a special welcome for the first group of Chinese tourists, reports the Bangkok Post.
A total of 286 tourists will fly to Thailand on Xiamen Air flight MF833. A Tourist Help Centre has been set up to help them, Ms Traisuree said.
On this occasion, ministers will check services and the baggage handling function at the airport, she said.
According to Airports of Thailand (AoT), the number of tourists has increased substantially at Suvarnabhumi airport, especially tourists from tour groups, since the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions.
Sometimes, tourists were all but ignored by tour operators and some were told to arrive at the airport more than 10 hours in advance, causing congestion around check-in counters at the passenger terminal, observers say.
Now, the airport has coordinated with the Association of Thai Travel Agents and the Thai Travel Agents Association to ensure tour operators stay in line with guidelines for using the area in the departure terminal more effectively, to help regulate the tour groups.
Some visitors must show minimum US$10,000 health insurance
Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) from today will require visitors whose next destinations require proof of a negative COVID-19 test to show health insurance coverage worth at least US$10,000 (B335,000).
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said yesterday the CAAT’s notice requires visitors who must test negative for COVID-19 before leaving Thailand to show proof of health insurance coverage worth at least $10,000 in case the test leads to COVID-19 treatment, reports the Bangkok Post.
People holding passports from Thailand and the United Nations, those with diplomatic passports and those in transit are exempted from the health insurance requirement.
The CAAT will also require air travellers aged over 18 to have documented proof of at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccine or of their full recovery from COVID-19 within the previous 180 days.
Visitors who do not meet the vaccination requirements must have relevant medical certificates explaining why.
Those who fail to show the required documents may be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival. Travellers who develop COVID-19 symptoms during their flight will be advised to have a COVID-19 test upon arrival.
Travellers will be advised to wear face masks throughout their flight except during meals or in emergency.
The notice was issued on Saturday night and was set to take effect from 8am this morning. It will expire at 12.59am on Jan 31.