Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand (March 30, 2020)

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand (March 30, 2020)
Location:  Thailand
Event:  Border Closures Throughout Southern Thailand; Transit Temporary Health Certificate Exemption Ending on March 31; Flights Out of Thailand Further Reduced

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.

Flights Out of Thailand
There are currently no government restrictions or requirements for U.S. citizens departing Thailand or entering the United States.   However, the Royal Thai Government 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. U.S. citizens who are considering returning to the United States are urged to work with airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available.

We advise temporary visitors in Thailand to arrange for immediate return to the United States while there is still an opportunity. All flight routes are subject to cancellation without notice, and many flights are heavily booked.  Hub countries with connections to the United States are also imposing increasingly strict requirements.

Many travelers worldwide have reported unexpected flight cancellations and limited flight availability.  If your travel has been disrupted, please contact your airline. The Airports of Thailand webpage provides updates on scheduled and cancelled flights out of Thailand.

The below chart is a snapshot of flight availability as of March 30, 2020.  There has been a further reduction of commercial flights with connections to the U.S. to 29 a week.  We expect this trend to continue.  Please refer to the above-reference Airports of Thailand (AOT) webpage and/or download the AOT app for iOS and Android for the most up-to-date information.

Outbound  Carrier Weekly Frequencies (flights) Total
From To Date (M) Date (T) Date (W) Date (Th) Date (F) Date (Sa) Date (Su)
BKK TYO All Nippon 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 5
BKK TYO Japan Airlines 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7
BKK ICN Korean Air Lines 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7
BKK FRA Lufthansa 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 3
BKK DOH Qatar 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7
Total: 5 4 4 5 4 4 3 29


Today (Monday, March 30) Chiang Mai International Airport has 10 flights to Bangkok and no international departures.

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.

For more 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: