Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAAT) has further eased domestic airlines service restrictions, by doing away with the on-board social distancing requirement.
CCAT Director Mr. Chula Sookmanop said that domestic airlines can sell all the seats on each flight. Airlines no longer need to leave some seats vacant for social distancing.
The airlines, however, must improve their in-flight air ventilation systems. They must also replace the high efficiency particulate air filters on a regular basis. In accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
The domestic airlines must also warn passengers that they may face legal action if they do not wear face mask throughout the flight.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said that, from July 1st, families travelling together on electric trains in Bangkok will be allowed to sit together. Because the duration of each trip does not exceed 50 minutes and doesn’t require social distancing..
He said that he has instructed the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRT) to inform the public about this new seating arrangement. The Blue and Purple lines, easing of restrictions was in line with the improvement of the COVID-19 situation. However its main focus was to reduce costs for the MRT.
Mr. Saksayam also distributed free face masks to train commuters as part of the MRT’s “Healthy Journey with BEM” program. The program is designed to encourage commuters to wear face masks.
One million face masks are to be distributed between now and August.
Airlines Preparing to Resume International Flights to Thailand
Despite the Governments “Travel Bubbles” controversy Thai aviation authorities have held talks with commercial airlines about resuming international flights. Thailand has already allowed domestic flights to resume since May.
Currently, there are about 17,000 daily passengers at Thailand’s two major airports, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang. All airports in Thailand have now been reopened. Phuket International Airport was the latest airport that resumed its regular domestic flights operations on June 13.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) on Tuesday met with airline representatives discussing preparations to resume International flights. Also details of aviation and health safety measures for international flights.
It has been proposed that business trips and tourists from low-risk countries should be allowed.
In the meeting, the CAAT authorities informed Airlines about social distancing seating arrangements and special guidelines for inflight services.
The Travel Bubble controversy
Meanwhile, Lawmakers and health officials are now arguing over the Travel bubbles.
Some lawmakers in Thailand are saying Travel bubbles for general tourism may not become fact anytime soon. Saying the first people to benefit are likely to be working professionals. Also people attending international meetings, senior officials.
Gen. Somsak Roongsita, secretary-general of the National Security Council and head of the government’s committee on disease control relaxation, said the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) had not yet made a decision on Travel Bubbles.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, as the CCSA director, doctors and security officials were concerned about the possible implications, and emphasized public health over tourism.