Thailand denies rumors of wealthy Indians arriving by charter flights to flee COVID-19
BANGKOK — Thailand’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday denied rumors that wealthy Indians were booking charter flights to the country to avoid the escalating Covid-19 situation at home.
“The rumor is the result of a misunderstanding stemming from a mistranslation by a foreign news agency,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Thani Saengrat said.
“The group of Indians were planning to travel to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, while some had inquired about Thailand’s entry regulations, which might have caused the misunderstanding.
“The ministry has contacted the Royal Thai Embassy in New Delhi, which has confirmed that it has not issued COE [Certificate of Entry] to non-Thai nationals in India to enter Thailand via charter flights,” he said.
“The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand also has confirmed that they have not allowed any charter flights from India to land in Thailand during the period, as claimed by the rumor.”
Thani added that some Indian nationals had entered Thailand on April 17. They had notified the ministry in advance and had undergone the regular entry procedures. “This group consisted of six students and one person who holds a Thai work permit, and they did not arrive by a charter plane,” he added.
“Currently the ministry allows one repatriation flight from India per week to enter Thailand. Non-Thai nationals wishing to enter the country must meet the requirements and undergo screening and the quarantine processes,” said Thani.
He added that next month one Thai national in India had registered to return to Thailand on May 1, 70 Thais would arrive on May 8 and another 60 Thais on May 15.
On Sunday, the Royal Thai Embassy in New Delhi announced that the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration had placed restrictions on non-Thai nationals who wished to enter Thailand.
“All COEs that have been issued to non-Thai nationals to enter Thailand from India with the arrival date from May 1 will be cancelled,” it said.
“Therefore, the embassy will not accommodate non-Thai nationals on the flights scheduled for May 1, 15 and 22,” the embassy said.
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