Over 120 international flights, carrying 21,268 passengers, arrived at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Phuket international airports yesterday (Sunday), the day after the government’s anti-COVID-19 “Test and Go” scheme ended, no longer requiring RT-PCR tests upon entry and first-night quarantine for the fully vaccinated and those who tested negative 72 hours prior to departure. At Suvarnabhumi Airport alone, 16,868 arrivals were recorded from 96 flights.
Airport officials reported congestion at the immigration area, as many passengers were seen close to one another, making social distancing impossible. Each passenger took an average of 15 minutes to get through passport control.
Arriving passengers were separated into two groups upon arrival, said airport officials.
The first group included passengers who are fully inoculated, those who are partially vaccinated and the unvaccinated who took an RT-PCR test 72 hours before departure. They were allowed into the country through the normal channels without quarantine.
The second group were those who are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated but without RT-PCR test results. After going through passport control, they were met by representatives of their pre-booked hotels and taken there for quarantine.
All arriving passengers are still required to apply for the “Thailand Pass” to enter the country.
With the further easing of restrictions, the Transport Ministry anticipates that there will be more flights, both international and domestic. There are currently about 44,500 flights per month, 11,000 of which are international and 33,500 domestic. This is expected to increase to 83,000 flights per month (30,000 international and 53,000 domestic) by late this year.
Story by Thai PBS World