Bangkok, 18 February, 2020 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide a summary of disease control measures implemented by Thailand’s airports, airlines and relevant public and private sectors to prevent further spread or importation of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country.
Since the beginning of this year, the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health has been implementing surveillance protocol at international airports including Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Krabi and Samui as well as the U-Tapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport.
These airports are serving direct flights from affected areas, which according to the Department of Disease Control currently include the People’s Republic of China (including Taipei, Taiwan), Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region, Japan, Singapore and other reported outbreak countries (https://ddc.moph.go.th/viralpneumonia/eng/index.php).
Air passengers and crew members on incoming direct flights from affected areas are subject to fever screening by thermo scanners and infrared thermometers. The surveillance is also expanded to outgoing flights bound for th eaffected areas.
Any traveller with no fever will receive a health beware card and be allowed to enter the country. If any traveller has a body temperature above 38 degrees Celsius and has COVID-19 symptoms including coughing, sneezing, panting or a runny nose, the person will be isolated as a patient under investigation (PUI) and be transferred to a designated hospital for quarantine or treatment. Other travellers who have been in contact or sitting near the PUI will be brought to a tracking system for disease surveillance for 14 days in accordance with the disease prevention and control standards.
These international airports have also taken numerous proactive steps to maintain high hygiene standards, including extra and frequently sanitising of high-traffic areas including check-in counters, passenger lounges, restrooms, luggage trolleys, railings, push buttons at elevators, and handrails on shuttle buses. Cleansing alcohol gels have been installed throughout the airports.
All travellers will receive health advice (health beware cards) from the immigration officials and officers at the points of entry. The card is available in Chinese, English and Thai. They are also given the daily recommendation for preventing COVID-19: to frequently wash hands with water and soap or use alcohol gel, avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and strictly comply with the recommendations “eating cooked food, using serving spoons and washing hands.”
Similar health surveillance measures have also been implemented by the Department of Airports at all its commercial airports throughout Thailand including nine airports in the North (Lampang, Phrae, Nan, Mae Hong Son, Pai, Mae Sot, Tak, Phetchabun and Phitsanulok), nine in the Northeast (Buri Ram, Nakhon Phanom, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Loei, Roi Et, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon, and Ubon Ratchathani), and 10 in the South (Krabi, Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Hua Hin, Narathiwat, Surat Thani, Ranong, Trang, and Pattani).
Other airports implementing health surveillance measures include Bangkok Airways’ Sukhothai and Trat Airports.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has issued updates and recommendations on the prevention of the COVID-19 for aviation operators in the country. It also offers advice for the people on how to protect themselves from the COVID-10 while travelling by air.
Thai Airways International (THAI) and Thai Smile Airways have set up a crisis management operations centre on the implementation of preventive measures. Steps taken include passenger screening and ground service measures, inflight service measures, aircraft preparation and disinfection measures, aircraft interior cleaning measures, employee preventive and precautionary measures, cargo and commercial mail transportation measures, and meal preparation measures.
Bangkok Airways’ health surveillance and preventive actions include performing primary screening of passengers for signs of related respiratory symptoms, intensifying hygiene measures aboard the aircraft, and providing protective face masks to crew members and ground service staff to wear when on duty.
Nok Air has implemented daily sanitising of its aircraft on all flights. Its crew members are to wear protective face masks and monitor passengers for related respiratory symptoms.
Thai AirAsia have taken steps to maintain high hygiene standards on board its aircrafts, including sanitising the aircraft and extra cleaning of high-traffic areas.
Thai Lion Air’s active measures have included sanitising of its aircraft on all flights and providing information and recommendations for the people on how to protect themselves from the COVID-19.
Several airlines have also announced fee waiver policies for flight changes and cancellations, credit accounts and refunds on reserved tickets for flights to affected destinations. Please contact the respective airline that you have reserved flight tickets to the affected cities during the current time for specific terms and conditions.
TAT would like to reiterate that:
• Thailand has effective health surveillance systems for disease control.
• The Thai public and private sectors across the nation have stepped up hygiene measures.
• Thailand’s tourism and travel activities go on as usual.
Reminders: Local and international tourists are advised to adhere to everyday hygienic habits: avoid eating uncooked food; use serving spoons and wash your hands.
• Department of Disease Control Call Centre 1422
• TAT Contact Centre 1672
• Tourist Police 1155