CAAT seeks 20,000 vaccine doses for aviation staff before country reopens in July


The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has asked the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration to allocate 40,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine so that aviation staff can be inoculated by July.

“The vaccine will be given to approximately 20,000 aviation personnel, who are expected to come into close contact with foreign tourists when selected provinces reopen starting this July,” CAAT chairman Suttipong Kongpool said on Thursday.

The Centre for Economic Situation Administration last week approved the Phuket “tourism sandbox” programme proposed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

From July 1, foreign tourists who can verify they have been inoculated against Covid-19 and test negative for the virus can fly into Phuket and move around freely without having to quarantine. The tourists, however, have to stay in Phuket for at least 7 days before leaving the province and must use a mobile application for location tracking.

“Targeted aviation personnel to receive the vaccine include pilots, flight crews and ground service staff who are employees of either CAAT or domestic airlines,” Suttipong said.

“The vaccinations will help reduce the risk of our staff contracting Covid-19, and also strengthen tourists’ confidence in safety from the virus while they travel in Thailand,” he added.

CAAT estimates that the first group of foreign tourists to visit Phuket this July will be from China, as the country has demonstrated “effective control” over the Covid-19 situation.