The head of a panel CCSA panel says that long-term foreign residents and foreigners with permanent residences in Thailand stranded overseas will receive priority when seeking to return to Thailand.

Deputy army chief Natthapon Nakpanich, chairman of the CCSA’s panel on the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, said the panel will recommend the CCSA allow these two groups of foreigners back into Thailand.

The groups will still be subject to a 14-day-quarantine, Gen Nakpanich said, and willing to follow the disease control measures.

However, the CCSA will have to be careful in allowing those returning from countries with high infections back into the country, Gen Nakpanich said.

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul assured the public that the screening system for returnees is efficient.

They will undergo medical examination before boarding a flight and will be re-checked upon arrival before being placed in state quarantine facilities, he said.

The minister did raise concerns about migrant workers from neighbouring countries who have entered Thailand illegally without going through disease control procedures.

The public has been urged to keep an eye out and alert authorities about illegal migrants, Mr Charnvirakul said.

He added that the ministry has been working with other agencies in terms of deploying medical personnel and providing medical supplies, protective gear and treatments to deal with any potential second wave of local transmissions.

Acting president of Thai Airways International Plc, Chansin Treenuchagron, said the company will arrange special chartered flights which will fly directly from Denmark, Germany, the UK, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong to Phuket as part of efforts to support the government’s policy to boost domestic tourism after COVID-19 eases.

Mr Treenuchagron said flights are expected to begin in November and the company will operate two flights monthly on each route and will increase flights if demand increases.

Thailand and Singapore have discussed the possibility of reopening travel for businesses as the two countries are working towards a green lane travel procedure that’s safe for all.