The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand, or CAAT, confirmed to associated press today that a plan for “travel bubbles” in which tourists could potentially enter Thailand from low-risk nations without strict quarantines and other measures is “on hold” for the time being due to the alarming increase of Covid-19 and new infections in many countries around the world.
CAAT director-general Chula Sukmanop, in an interview with the Thai Press, stated that talks about travel bubbles are still ongoing, but the time period to implement them will be “placed on hold” until the situation has improved. He and CCSA officials specifically referred to the situation happening in Australia where a second six week lockdown was placed on the Victoria area due to rising cases, as well as other new clusters that broke out in Beijing, parts of Spain and some American states re-implementing stricter closures and restrictions.
Specific countries named as potential travel bubble locations were Japan, Korea and China.
In addition, the Transport Minister, Saksayam Chidchob, also stated that international flights and airlines would be asked to wait for clear rules and regulations before planning to restart international flights this fall. This aligns with the statements made by CAAT that the travel bubbles would be “on hiatus.”
This comes as the CCSA, Thai DDC and other organizations increasingly are warning the Thai Public that they feel they are letting their guard down too quickly and that the risk of a second cluster of infections is real.
It is not clear exactly how long the travel bubble program would be on hiatus for, but as all official ideas previously were merely proposals, the program has not had set rules or guidelines released.