First flight lands in Phuket with 324 passengers under eased requirements

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Passengers from Qatar Airways flight QR842 from Doha arrive at Phuket airport on Sunday, the first day that Thailand eased most entry restrictions. (Photo: Achadtaya Chuenniran)

PHUKET: Qatar Airways flight QR842, carrying with 324 passengers, was the first flight to land in this southern island resort province under eased entry requirements on Sunday morning.

The flight crew and passengers were greeted in the arrival lounge after the plane landed at Phuket’s international airport at 6.55am by airport staff led by Monchai Tanode, the airport director, and officials from the immigration, customs and international disease control offices.

It took the passengers about 17 minutes to go through the required process.

Mr Monchai said a total of 4,482 passengers were to arrive on Sunday.

In the month of May, an average of 27 flights per day were to arrive at Phuket as confirmed by 21 airlines, Mr Monchai said.

From May 1, the Test & Go and Sandbox schemes have been removed for vaccinated travellers and replaced by the “no quarantine” programme. RT-PCR testing is no longer required.

Covid-19 insurance is reduced fromUS$20,000 to $10,000.

Unvaccinated travellers are now welcomed if they present proof of a negative RT-PCR test no more than 72 hours before their trip – but they must be quarantined for five days, with another RT-PCR test on day 4 or 5. They are also advised to do self-antigen testing during their stay.