Thailand's air travel bubbles

The Thailand-Malaysia Air-Travel Bubble (ATB) plan is likely to come to fruition in March 2022, while the Thailand-India plan may materialise "soon".

Thailand is looking to establish Air-Travel Bubble (ATB) plans with Malaysia in March 2022, and with India "soon", according to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)The travel bubble is the Thai government's approach to boosting the economy, trade and tourism.

For the Thailand-Malaysia ATB, Thailand's Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, has instructed the CCSA, and the tourism & sports emergency operation centre to prepare, and outline pandemic mitigation measures for the reopening of Southern border checkpoints in Songkhla, Yala, Narathiwat, and Satun.

Once approved, tourists from the neighbouring country, as well as Malaysians, will be allowed to enter Thailand under the 'Test and Go' scheme with no quarantine upon arrival. However, the CCSA reminds that visitors will still need to pass two RT-PCR tests after arriving in Thailand. Further, travellers are to note that travel passes must be applied, and approved for 24 hours before departure.

As for the Thailand-India travel bubble, at the moment, the first objective is to "faciliate commercial flights" between the two nations as CCSA's spokesman, Taweesin Visanuyothin, was cited in Nation Thailand's report. This is because India has "suspended international commercial flights" until 28 February 2022, and "allowed only evacuation flights" to bring its nationals back to the country due to the Omicron variant.

At the moment, Prime Minister Prayut has instructed the relevant government agencies to get this particular ATB plan implemented "as soon as possible" as the proposal for the travel bubble between the two nations is in progress, and will be "submitted to the Cabinet for endorsement".

REMINDERThailand's COVID-19 protocols: What to do if you test positive or are a close contact of a case (Jan 2022)

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