The government has announced guidelines on domestic air travel scheduled to resume on Friday.
Passengers must wear face masks at all times — from boarding to disembarking. If they fail to wear them at check-ins and cannot get one, they will not be allowed to fly.
They may not eat or drink anything on board.
For airlines, the capacity of each flight must be limited by arranging at least one empty seat between passengers. The exceptions are when certain seats have enough empty space around them to prevent contact and spread of the disease; the carrier is a small plane with no more than 19 seats and is used for a chartered flight; or when the plane has no more than 90 seats in which case the operator may sell up to 70% of them.
If the departure airport has no fever screening in place, the airline operators must check passengers for fever before boarding and observe suspicious symptoms. If a passenger has a temperature higher than 37.3 degrees Celsius or shows respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sore throat or shortness of breath, the airlines must report him to health officials in the area without delay. Airlines must also refuse to issue boarding passes to them if they determine the passengers could pose a risk.
Distancing must be implemented while boarding and disembarking, whether passengers walk, take buses or use jet bridges, as well as when passengers put carry-on bags into overhead bins and queue to use restrooms.
Airlines may not serve food or drinks on board. In case of emergency, aircrew may give water to a passenger but they have to do it in a place as far as possible from other passengers.
Airlines must also prepare alcohol gel for passengers.
On protective gear, pilots must wear surgical masks while crew must wear face masks and rubber gloves at all times. They may also wear additional protective equipment such as glasses, face shields or personal protective equipment (PPE) suits.
Airlines must prepare an adequate supply of cleaners on each flight.
For flights longer than 90 minutes, two rows of seats on one side are reserved for sick passengers, or those suspected to be sick, for observation and to prevent the spread of the disease.
If a sick or suspected case is found on board, he or she must be moved to the window seat of the last row on the right side. The back restroom must also be reserved for possible quarantine. A crew member is then assigned to work in that space and he or she must keep distance at least 2m from other crew members.
Pilots must also report to air traffic control of such cases so destination airports are informed in advance.
Aircrew must inform passengers of health measures before and during flights, especially about face masks and others. Restrooms must be disinfected after every flight.
For airports, operators must screen all people, make sure they are wearing masks and check their temperatures. They will be denied entry if they do not wear masks or have a body temperature more than 37.3 degrees Celsius.
Distancing must be observed in places such as those where boarding passes are issued or check-in areas.
At least three airlines will resume domestic flights on Friday — Thai Lion Air, Thai AirAsia and Thai Vietjet Air.
Thai Lion Air will resume flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Ubon Ratchathani, Khon Kaen, Surat Thani, Hat Yai and Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Thai AirAsia will resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Khon Kaeng, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Nakhon Phanom, Roi Et, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Hat Yai, Surat Thani and Chiang Mai-Hat Yai.
Thai Vietjet will fly again from Bangkok to Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Krabi.