11 July 2024

Hundreds of Thais, working illegally in South Korea, have missed their flights to Thailand after they were prevented from boarding by airline officials at the airport in Seoul, because they could not produce insurance cover to the equivalent of about US$100,000.

Airline officials say the insurance has been a requirement of the Thai Civil Aviation Office since March 10th, as well as a valid doctor’s certificate to ensure that the returning Thai workers have not exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to their flight.

An informed source claimed that obtaining a doctor’s certificate in South Korea is costly, ranging from 14,000-15,000 baht, and it is valid for only 48 hours before boarding a flight.


The latest reports, however, said that the requirement for insurance coverage for Thai workers is a misunderstanding, adding that the requirement is only applied to non-Thai citizens arriving in Thailand from high-risk countries, such as South Korea.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda offered a public apology for his miscommunication, which resulted in public misunderstanding that the Government is to shut down all the state facilities, including the Sattahip naval base, for the quarantine of Thai workers returning from South Korea.

He said today that all the facilities remain open, although returnees not infected with COVID-19 will be sent home for quarantine, under the supervision of local officials.