A glimpse of hope for stranded foreigners to return to Thailand

Foreigners stranded at a Thai Airways counter.

It has been a while now since foreign nationals who used to work or live in the Kingdom were denied entry due to the Covid-19 travel ban, after pleading with the government to allow them to return to their families in Thailand.

Finally, this issue has recently been addressed by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) during their daily briefings.

Foreign Ministry’s Director of Global Social Issues Natapanu Nopakun announces that once the government has completed repatriating Thai nationals who wished to return home, they will be doing the same for foreigners. Initially, this will only be applicable to work permit holders and those with a permanent residence permit to enter the country, according a report in Nation Thailand.

“Our repatriation mission is nearing completion, and once that is done, we can accommodate the flow of foreigners stranded outside Thailand. We appreciate the sacrifices and regret the inconvenience caused but hope everyone understands that even though it appears as if Thailand has won the battle against the virus, this is only the beginning and we have not yet overcome the war,” says the director.

“The CCSA is discussing the option of allowing foreigners to enter the country in due course. We also plan to give priority to permanent residents and those with work permits to return as soon as the situation has eased,” Natapanu added.

The number of new reported cases of the virus has dropped significantly with most cases detected while under state quarantine or from repatriates returning from overseas.

As the country is entering the third stage of easing of restrictions, the government has also allowed more businesses to reopen recently.

The CCSA had disclosed that “they will try to repatriate all Thai nationals who wished to return home from overseas in the whole month of June”, in other words, stranded foreigners will have to wait for at least another month before returning to their families in Thailand.

Sources: The Thaiger | Nation Thailand
Photo: AFP