COVID-19 Information

Update 3/30/2020: Border Closures in Southern Thailand
Several provincial governments in southern Thailand announced the closure of their borders –prohibiting entry by land and sea – effective March 30, 2020 until further notice. These provinces include: Phuket, Phang Nga, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Yala. Air travel via Phuket remains available. Please visit the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s website for updated information. Additional information about restrictions across Thailand can be found at the Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Disease Control COVID-19 website.

Temporary Exemptions for Transit Passengers Set to Expire March 31
The Royal Thai Government’s temporary exemption of its requirement for a COVID-negative medical certificate and proof of insurance for transit passengers with less than 24 hours in the airport is set to expire on March 31, 2020. With few exemptions (individuals with work permits, airline crew, diplomats) entry into Thailand by non-Thais is currently prohibited.

Update 3/29/2020: Phuket Closures:The Tourism Authority of Thailand announced that Phuket Province is requesting all residents and tourists remain in their residence from 8:00 pm to 3:00 am and has announced closures of beaches, zoo and walking street. Please visit the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s website for updated information. Additional information about restrictions across Thailand can be found at the Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Disease Control COVID-19 website.

Global Warning – Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel—Widespread Ongoing Transmission
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta has issued a Global Level 3 Warning. Travelers are advised to Avoid Nonessential Travel. This advice mirrors existing guidance from the U.S. State Department.

Key Points:

  • Widespread ongoing transmission of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring globally.
  • CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential international travel.
  • Older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions are at increased risk for severe disease.
  • There may be limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas.
  • US residents may have difficulty returning to the United States.
  • Travelers should avoid contact with sick people and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • All international travelers should stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.

Update 3/27/2020 State of Emergency: On March 25, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha declared a state of emergency, effective March 26, in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Thailand. In a televised announcement the Prime Minister announced that an initial set of emergency measures that take effect today, Thursday, March 26, 2020. Most restaurants, stores, and entertainment venues will be closed except for food delivery, supermarkets, restaurants’ delivery service providers and food markets, drug stores, convenience stores, banks, and other stores selling necessary items. Thai law controlling emergency situations gives the Prime Minister’s Office broad authorities, and more emergency measures further restricting movements and activities in Thailand may be announced at any time.

Thai Travel Ban:
Under the emergency decree, foreigners are banned from entering the Kingdom of Thailand at all points with the exception of diplomats, cargo shipments, pilots, and foreigners with a work permit.

Thai Airways is the latest airline to suspend flights to Europe from April 1 – May 31, 2020 and all regional flights from March 25 – May 31, 2020.  If you plan to return to the United States, please make your travel arrangements as soon as possible.

Update 3/22/2020: On March 21 the Bangkok Governor announced that malls, restaurants, food halls and similar food consumption areas, hairdressers, swimming pools, golf courses, cockfighting arenas, and arcades are among the 26 venue types closed through April 12. Supermarkets, stalls selling food and fresh produce, restaurants’ takeaway services, pharmacies and other business that “sell goods used in daily life” are exempted from the closure order. Local media also reported Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon – all provinces surrounding Bangkok – will implement similar measures for the same period.

There is an ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) first identified in Wuhan, China.  The global public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high.  The State Department elevated its Global Travel Advisory to Level 4 – Do Not Travel.  U.S. citizens normally resident in the U.S. but currently outside the U.S., i.e. tourists and other short-term travelers, should return while there are still transportation options available.  U.S. citizens normally resident overseas should avoid international travel.  The Travel Advisory does not constitute a “recall” of all U.S. citizens to the United States.

Social Distancing:
The U.S. Embassy has recommended that all U.S. government employees in Thailand avoid mass transportation (including the BTS and MRT rail systems in Bangkok, buses, and domestic airline flights) and entertainment venues, and use personal vehicles for transportation domestically.  U.S. government employees are also encouraged to practice social distancing.

Travel Restrictions:
The Royal Thai Government (RTG) has implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.

Quarantine Information:

The RTG has designated COVID-19 a dangerous communicable disease under the Communicable Diseases Act 2015 (B.E.2558).  Please be aware that if you come to the attention of Thai health authorities with fever and flu-like symptoms, and have traveled internationally or had close contact with a known COVID-19 case within the past 14 days, you will be placed in isolation and required to undergo testing which can take up to 48 hours.  If you are found to be positive, you will be hospitalized until symptoms resolve and you have two negative tests separated by 24 hours.

Actions to Take: