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New check-in rule sparks protest

The new check-in rule has sparked outrage and protests by Thais abroad that have booked flights back home with fears that they might be turned away if they can not show a health certificate that can be hard to come by in many countries.

On Wednesday the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) had announced that persons travelling back from 11 more countries now have to show proof of health certificates before boarding flights back to Thailand.

On Thursday night another statement had been issued by the agency to cover all foreigners.

Countries include the UK, the United States, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and certain cities in Japan.

From now on Foreign persons that are travelling to Thailand will need proof of their travel history in the previous 14 days plus a health certificate that states they pose no risk of being infected by Covid-19, and this is to be issued no more than 72 hours before travelling.

Also, valid health insurance that covers the Covid 19 treatment and shows a minimum of 100.000 USD medical cover which totals to about 3.2 million Baht in Thailand.

For Thai nationals looking to fly home, they will need to present a “fit to fly” health certificate and a letter from a Thai Embassy, Thai Foreign Ministry or a Thai consulate.

But it seems that many Thais are finding it hard to meet the requirements especially if they are in Europe. Thai nationals do not need the Covid-19-free certificate to board a plane, only the fit-to-fly certificate.

In London, the Thai Embassy has been bombarded with thousands of complaints and pleas for help.

Gail Powacht aged 55 and a mother of a 20-year-old student in Plymouth. Mrs Powacht is confused to why they need the requirements.. She went on to say that “it is impossible to get a health certificate and that the requirement for the embassy letter is a double burden. Speaking to The Bangkok Post, she added that the embassy will not issue the letter unless a health certificate is presented first.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman has said that they understand that health certificates are unavailable in many European Countries and that this problem had been raised at various meetings. However, embassies will be in contact and will provide as much help to Thai travellers but it is unclear at the moment to what help can be provided as the health services are already overwhelmed.

A high ranking Thai diplomat in Europe has told the Bangkok Post that with measures like this, many Thais will just be stranded abroad

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