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Travel Bubbles not to come as soon as we hoped

8 Jul 2020

According to Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), travel bubbles are likely to be postponed as some countries eyed for the system have seen a revival in Covid-19 incidents. CAAT Director-General Chula Sukmanop said even though negotiations with a variety of countries including China, Japan and South Korea regarding travel bubble plans are being thrashed out, the scheme would be placed on pause due to an increase in infections. He said this month Thailand is watching closely the Covid-19 condition.

The government has come up with a proposal to introduce travel bubbles with many low-coronavirus-risk countries and the plans were original to be implemented as early as August for the first community of foreign leisure travellers.

Mr Chula said local tourism is vital to rebuilding the aviation industry in the country and noted that domestic travel demand is picking up after airlines resume operations and business operators start promotional campaigns to boost travel.

He expressed optimism that more economic stimulus steps to be introduced by the government would raise purchasing capacity and would continue to rebound in the aviation and transport sectors.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said on Tuesday that the government's main concern is public health, as it considers reopening the country to foreign travellers.

Mr Saksayam called on airlines to wait for the government and the CAAT to follow a specific policy when questioned regarding news on airlines planning to start foreign flights in September. Earlier Thira Woratanarat, an epidemiologist at the University of Chulalongkorn, advised the government to take strict care while making travel bubble plans since the Covid-19 pandemic is still ravaging other areas of the planet.

Sophon Iamsirithavorn, head of the Communicable Disease Division, advised the public on Tuesday to hold their guard even though no local cases of coronavirus have been reported for 43 consecutive days in the region.

In the meantime, the Pha Muang Task Force is stepping up efforts to deter foreign workers from secretly creeping into Thailand to search for employment, Task Force commander Maj Gen Thanatpol Kosaisewi said.

Source Bangkok Post