Airline passengers to/from South East Asia and beyond have the option again to use Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) as a transit point without specific clearance documents (Covid free test, health insurance still required) for a period of up to 12 hours.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has imposed tough restrictions on transit passengers at BKK Airport since July 2020 but these have now been relaxed so that transits are possible again but still passengers are severely limited in their movements.

Since Thai Airways is still grounded except for their “special flights” as they call the repatriation trips the connections via Bangkok would have to be operated by other international carriers.

The Bangkok Post reported about the easement of Covid related measured from today that also include the airport transit regulations.

Officials in Bangkok on Tuesday began to loosen Covid-19 prevention measures, allowing transit passengers at Suvarnabhumi airport and alcohol to be served in the capital’s restaurants and pubs until 11pm.

Transit passengers at Suvarnabhumi had [probably means have] to show fit-to-fly and Covid-free certificates, as well as health insurance documents.

“Their stay at the airport is limited to 12 hours. They will be confined to a specific area in the terminal, and not be allowed to visit shops there,” said Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin.

Those passengers would not have to go through Covid-19 screening but would be required to wear face masks, sanitise their hands and observe social distancing while waiting for connecting flights, he said. …

A spokesman for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), Pongsakorn Kwanmuang on Tuesday said that City Hall had agreed that entertainment venues, pubs, bars, karaoke shops and soapy massage parlours should be allowed to resume normal opening hours.

The BMA’s relaxed measures came into effect on Tuesday.

The CAAT website has no official announcement or confirmation as of this point.

From what this new regulation looks like passengers could only sit around, not visit any shops, restaurants or lounges. For up to 12 hours? Absolutely ridiculous.

Last year in July Thailand has instituted stricter measures on transit passengers, banning some connections. The rules have changes several times . First they banned all transfers outright, then only domestic transfers, then you needed a transit visa which was impossible to get…

Even now the parameters of the new transit rule are unknown to AOT staff which should theoretically know about it:

Not surprising though, this is typical Thailand. But it shows the issues this can bring if the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand does.

In any case transit passengers would still require to show:

  • Fit for Fly Certificate
  • Negative Covid Test
  • Health Insurance Certification (not described in the article, probably with the $100,000 coverage)

Despite this they’re being treated as a health risk and not allowed to move anywhere. No thanks!

There should be flights via other countries such as Hong Kong as well where there is an established transit policy. This includes Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo. I’d probably try and be on the safe side booking a flight through one of these gateways without such extreme requirements.

Conclusion

As per the Bangkok Post article transit flights are now possible again at Suvarnabhumi Airport but the AOT (Airports of Thailand) Help Desk knows nothing about this new regulation.

I would hold off with making any definitive plan and reservations via Bangkok until this is confirmed by a few more sources other than the local paper but even if this new rule eventually comes into effect who would want to experience such a transfer at BKK? I rather go through another transit point if at all possible.

This is pretty much a prime example for how things are currently going in Thailand so anyone who expects an opening of the country in the near future can kiss that idea goodbye.

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