While the city of Bangkok closes night clubs, bars, and bans the sale of alcohol to slow down the Covid-19, the Thai authorities have decided to also ban food, drinks, magazines and newspapers on board since January 1st.
The government has taken the decision to ban food, drink and any kind of printed materials on board domestic flights. Only the safety information cards will be available. The initiative has been taken to contain the spread of Covid-19 contagion cases. Airlines found to have infringed the regulations, might have to face possible penalty from their regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).
This is the second time that Thailand has adopted a similar policy to contain the virus. Authorities in the country banned in-flight food and drink service on April 26, 2020, which was later lifted on August 31.
Chula Sukmanop, Director General to Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), said that since the cleaning time at each stop is extremely short, and operators opt to have the quickest turnaround as possible, it is very likely the operators would not have enough time to thoroughly clean all the items. Sukmanop noted that non-essential reading materials on-board could increase the risk of exposure to the virus.
The consumption of food and drink is currently banned during the whole flight. Passengers must keep their face masks at all the times. Passengers will be allowed to bring their own newspapers and magazines on board. This in turns will mean that passengers will not be allowed to leave behind any item, and must take back whatever they brought along with them.
The CAAT ban applies as well to everything that would be handed out on board, including duty-free catalogues, menus, or in-flight magazines. The cabin crew will be allowed to give out water if passengers ask for it. As of now, domestic air travel in Thailand is operating at around 40 per cent of its usual capacity. The ban came into effect on December 31st.