(CNN) – In an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Thailand has banned food, drink and any printed material other than safety information tags on domestic flights. Airlines will have to follow the regulations or they may face potential punishment from their regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.
This is the second time that such a step has been taken. Thailand previously banned in-flight food and beverage service on April 26, 2020, but the ban was lifted on August 31.
Chola Sukmanup, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), confirmed the action to CNN.
“The cleaning time after each domestic flight stop is very short, since the operators tend to do as quickly as possible and I think it is very unlikely that the operators will be able to clean all of these items completely. Therefore, having unnecessary reading material on board will create more risks Exposure to the virus. “
This does not mean that passengers will have to find a way to kill time during the flight without reading materials. They are allowed to bring their own magazines or newspapers on board, but they will likely be required to take these items with them upon disembarkation. The CAA ban applies to anything delivered on board the aircraft, such as lists, duty-free catalogs (not an issue for domestic travel) or magazines on board.
It is also prohibited to consume food or drink on domestic flights, even if passengers bring it on board, as masks must be worn at all times.
According to a statement from CAAT, flight crew will be allowed to give water if passengers request it, which can happen in situations where, for example, someone needs water to take medication.
Currently, domestic air travel in Thailand is around 40% of normal capacity.
The ruling came into effect on December 31.