Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand (March 26, 2020)

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand (March 26, 2020)
Location:  Bangkok, Thailand
Event:  Information on the State of Emergency, a Message from U.S. Ambassador Michael DeSombre, Thai Travel Ban, Available Flights Out of Thailand, and U.S. Embassy Consular Operations

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.

A message from Ambassador Michael G. DeSombre:
Please click the link here to watch Ambassador DeSombre address U.S. citizens in Thailand.

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.

While there is no ban in travelling across provinces, the emergency measure indicates that people should refrain from or defer their travel across provinces if it is not necessary.  Such travelers may encounter health screening and other checkpoints.

According to media reports, the Thai authorities have set up seven checkpoints in Bangkok and 350 more in other provinces to check inter-provincial travelers for symptoms of COVID-19 and behavior leading to the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

In Chiang Mai Province, the Royal Thai Police announced that they have closed some smaller inter-provincial roads and established checkpoints on the main inter-provincial highways.

Flights out of Thailand:
There are currently 53 weekly flights from Bangkok connecting to onward flights to the U.S., about a 50% decrease from last week.  More flight cancellations are expected in the days ahead, and remaining flights may be heavily booked.  We advise temporary visitors in Thailand to arrange for immediate return to the U.S. while there is still an opportunity.

Please see below for outbound flights from Bangkok to major transit hubs with onward flights to U.S. cities.

Outbound flights from Bangkok to major transit hubs with onward flights to U.S. cities.

Today (Thursday, March 26) Chiang Mai International Airport has 17 flights to Bangkok and no international departures.  The U.S. Embassy is unable to book airline tickets.  Please continue to reach out to airlines and utilize commercial websites to book or change your tickets while these flights are an option.  We encourage you to look at all flight options flying into the United States, regardless of whether the flight is going to your final destination; it may be necessary to book a second ticket onward. We will post any alerts and updates on the COVID-19 situation in Thailand on this website:

Consular Services:
Effective 25 March 2020, U.S. Embassy Bangkok and Consulate General Chiang Mai suspended routine consular services.  For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website.

Many travelers worldwide have reported unexpected flight cancellations and limited flight availability.  If your travel has been disrupted, please contact your airline.

Actions to Take: