Thais abroad protest new check-in rule

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Thais abroad who have booked flights back home risk being turned away at check-in if they cannot show a health certificate, which is difficult to get in many countries.

Foreign nationals travelling to Thailand need verification of their travel history in the previous 14 days and a health certificate certifying they “pose no risk of being infected by the Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19)”, issued no more than 72 hours prior to travel. Also required is health insurance that covers Covid-19 treatment and shows minimum medical coverage of US$100,000 (about 3.2 million baht) in Thailand.

Although Thai nationals require only the fit-to-fly certificate and not the Covid-19-free certificate to board, many are finding it difficult to meet the requirement, especially in Europe. The Facebook page of the Thai embassy in London has been flooded by over 1,200 comments, mostly complaints and pleas for help.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Cherdkiat Atthakor acknowledged that health certificates are unavailable in many European countries and that this problem has been raised at a meeting of state agencies. Meanwhile, embassies will be in touch and provide help to Thai travelers, he said. It is unclear what kind of help can be offered especially if health services are already overwhelmed. A high-ranking Thai diplomat in Europe who asked not to be named, told the Bangkok Post: “With measures like this, many Thais will be stranded abroad.

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