Event: Royal Thai Government Extends State of Emergency and Incoming International Flight Ban until July 31; Kingdom of Thailand Permits Entry for Certain Classes of Foreign National Visitors
Royal Thai Government Extends State of Emergency and Incoming International Flight Ban Until July 31
On June 30, the Royal Thai Government officially extended the national state of emergency until July 31, 2020. Thai law controlling emergency situations gives the Prime Minister’s Office broad authorities, and more emergency measures that further restrict movements and activities in Thailand could be announced at any time. Under the state of emergency, provincial governments are also empowered to institute any legal measure they determine necessary to combat the spread of the virus.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) also announced the extension of the ban on incoming international commercial passenger flights beginning July 1, 2020. The flight ban does not affect outbound flights; there are still daily outbound flights available with connections to the United States.
If you are a U.S. citizen who does not have access to funding, you may be eligible for a repatriation loan. A repatriation loan is only for immediate travel to the United States and cannot be used to remain in Thailand. The Embassy can use the repatriation loan to purchase a ticket to the United States on the next available flight. The loan can also be used to pay for lodging and food associated with the impending travel. This is a U.S. government loan program which you will have to pay back to be eligible for another U.S. passport. If you need financial assistance to return immediately to the United States, please fill out the form here so that we can begin the process.
Kingdom of Thailand Permits Entry for Certain Classes of Foreign National Visitors
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announced on June 29, 2020 flights carrying the following types of passengers will be allowed into Thailand:
- Thai nationals.
- Persons with exemption or persons being considered, permitted, or invited by the Prime Minister, or the head of responsible persons accountable for resolving state of emergency issues to enter the Kingdom, as necessary. Such consideration, permission or invitation may be subject to specified conditions and time limits.
- Non-Thai nationals who are a spouse, parent, or child of a Thai national.
- Non-Thai nationals who hold a valid certificate of residence, or permission to reside in the Kingdom.
- Non-Thai nationals who hold a valid work permit or allowed to work in the Kingdom, including their spouse or children.
- Carriers of necessary goods subject to immediate return after completion.
- Crew members who are required to travel into the Kingdom as part of their duties and have a specified date and time for return.
- Non-Thai nationals who are students of educational institutions approved by Thai authorities, including the parents or guardians of the students.
- Non-Thai nationals in need of medical treatment in Thailand, and their attendants. However, this shall not include medical treatment for COVID–19.
- Individuals in diplomatic missions, consular affairs, international organizations, government representatives, foreign government agencies working in Thailand, or individual in other international agencies as permitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including their spouse, parents, or children.
- Non-Thai nationals who are permitted to enter the Kingdom under a special arrangement with a foreign country.
The Royal Thai Government has not yet clarified how non-Thai travelers approved for entry can travel to Thailand. Those seeking to enter Thailand must request a Certificate of Entry from the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate. All arrivals are subject to a 14-day quarantine which can be spent at a government quarantine facility, alternative state quarantine, or self-quarantine at home depending on the traveler’s status. The only aircraft approved to enter the Kingdom of Thailand include the following:
- State or military aircraft
- Emergency landing flights
- Technical landing flights without disembarkation
- Humanitarian aid, medical and relief flights
- Repatriation flights
- Cargo flights
U.S. citizens seeking entry into the Kingdom of Thailand who meet the established criteria should contact the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate closest to their current location for more information on gaining entry to Thailand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When will the American Citizen Services (ACS) unit reopen for non-emergency passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, and notarial services?
A: The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai are offering limited, emergency passport, report of birth abroad, and notarial appointments only.
Notarial services present a challenge as the Department of State has not deemed these services as an emergency service. We recognize U.S. citizens in Thailand may have an emergency (i.e., life/death/financial hardship) need for a notarial service and review notary service appointment requests on a case-by-case basis. We cannot however meet the current demand.
For those seeking to notarize documents for use in the United States, you may wish to consider using alternative options, to include utilizing a remote notarial service provider. A growing number of states accept documents notarized through online services; you will need to research whether they can be used in the state where your document will be filed. Remote notarization could fulfill your need for notary services more quickly.
Furthermore, we have limited staffing in the office, and we have to limit the number of people present in the waiting room at any given time to accomplish social distancing goals. Limited appointments will continue even after routine services resume because of the limit on waiting room capacity required to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
Q: Should I/my family leave Thailand?
A: Travelers who choose to remain in Thailand should be prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. International travel is unpredictable, and travel restrictions can be put into effect with little or no advance notice.
On April 24, automatic visa extensions for foreign nationals went into effect. Temporary visas (of all types) are extended automatically until July 31, 2020. If you have a valid visa (i.e., your visa would have expired after March 26, the date of the first “amnesty”), you do not need to visit an immigration office in order to benefit from the automatic visa extension. Further extensions are not guaranteed.
Please refer your specific visa questions directly to the Thai Immigration Bureau. More information can also be found here: https://immigration.go.th/content/extend_alien?click=1
Q: Are there still flights out of Thailand even though there is a ban on incoming international flights?
A: The following airlines are currently offering outbound flights from Bangkok with connections to the United States: Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Japan Airlines, Air Asiana, and Lufthansa. All Nippon Airways (ANA) offers flights from Bangkok to Tokyo but connecting flights to the United States requires you to change airports in Japan, which is not allowed under Japan’s current travel restrictions. Please refer herefor the latest information regarding transportation in Japan. There are currently no international flights departing from Chiang Mai International Airport or Phuket International Airport.
For verified information about the COVID-19 situation in other countries, please visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html.
Q: What do I do if I need assistance to depart Thailand?
A: If you are a U.S. citizen who does not have access to funding, you may be eligible for a repatriation loan. A repatriation loan is only for immediate travel to the United States and cannot be used to remain in Thailand. The Embassy can use the repatriation loan to purchase a ticket to the United States on the next available flight. The loan can also be used to pay for lodging and food associated with the impending travel. This is a U.S. Government loan program that you will have to pay back to be eligible for another U.S. passport. If you need financial assistance to return immediately to the United States, please fill out the form here so that we can begin the process: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=dFDPZv5a0UimkaErISH0S7gxJUk_XcZEjLnOzUyz0UFUM0U5RTBVNlE3Nk9GWUNXQTdBRVlTQzFDVSQlQCN0PWcu
Q: Will I be allowed into the United States?
A: U.S. citizens are allowed entry into the United States. The presidential proclamations restricting entry to the United States for certain foreign nationals do not apply to U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. U.S. passengers that have been in certain countries, not including Thailand, must travel through select airports where the U.S. Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures. See the DHS website for further details: https://www.dhs.gov/.
You may be screened when you arrive in the United States. Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the latest health recommendations for travelers returning to the United States. For more information, please see the following websites:
Q: How do I get my medications into Thailand?
A: We are unable to assist you with obtaining medications in Thailand or arranging for the importation of medications only available in the United States. Due to the unreliability of flights, we recommend you purchase your medication locally, if possible. Many drugs are available through reputable pharmacies such as Boots or Watsons. Some may need to change to a reliable alternative medication available in Thailand as recommended by their physician.
If the medication you need is not available locally and is critical to your health and well-being, then we recommend you return to the United States immediately as we have no way of determining when this crisis will be over, or normal flight schedules will resume. There are currently outbound commercial flights available with connections to U.S. cities.
Q: Thailand seems to be reopening, is there still a state of emergency?
A: Yes, Thailand is still under a national state of emergency. Thai law controlling emergency situations gives the Prime Minister’s Office broad authorities, and more emergency measures that further restrict movements and activities in Thailand could be announced at any time. Under the state of emergency, provincial governments are also empowered to institute any legal measure they determine necessary to combat the spread of the virus.
Q: Where do I find the latest information on COVID-19?
A: U.S. citizens in Thailand should refer to the Ministry of Public Healthand the U.S. CDCfor the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 response. U.S. citizens can contact the Department of Disease Control directly at 1422 for information on COVID-19 testing facilities and treatment locations. They have English-language staff. All public hospitals will take COVID-19 patients.
Private hospitals have been asked to treat COVID-19 patients as well, but it is up to the hospital. In both cases, payment must be made before treatment. The U.S. Embassy is unable to pay for medical treatment.
Key Points on COVID-19:
- Widespread, ongoing transmission of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring globally.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta 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 of Thailand.
- In the future, U.S. 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.
- Thai regulations now require the wearing of face masks in public.
- All international travelers should stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.
- For the most up-to-date information, visit the CDC page on Novel Coronavirus and the CDC Travelers Health Page for travelers to Thailand. Information is also available through the World Health Organization.
Actions to Take:
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
- For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Thailand.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
- Visit the Kingdom of Thailand’s Ministry of Public’s Health English-language COVID-19 page for updates on the situation in Thailand.
- U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand
Telephone: +66 2 205 4049
+66 2 205 4000 (after hours)
American Citizens Services
- U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai, Thailand (serving U.S. citizens in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Kamphaengphet, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Petchabun, Phayao, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phrae, Sukhothai, Tak, and Uttaradit provinces)
Telephone: +66 053 107 700
+66 2 205 4000 (after hours)
- State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
- Thailand Country Information
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