Royal Thai Government Extends Emergency Decree Until June 30, 2020
On May 26, the Royal Thai Government (RTG) decided to extend the national state of emergency until June 30, 2020, to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 infections in Thailand. A national curfew from 11:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. remains in effect. The ban on incoming international flights remains in effect also. The RTG continues to discuss the further easing of lockdown measures.
Ask a COVID-19 Question
- Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand – May 29, 2020
- Frequently Asked Questions – May 27, 2020
- FAQs on Economic Impact Payments – April 17, 2020
- Travel Advisory: Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel – March 20, 2020
Update 5/29/2020: Royal Thai Government Approves Entry for Non-Thai Nationals with Work Permits: On May 28, the Royal Thai Government (RTG) announced that non-Thai nationals who either possess a valid work permit or have already been granted permission from a Thai government agency to work in the Kingdom can apply for permission to enter the Kingdom. The official announcement states that only those in urgent need to enter the Kingdom may submit an application for entry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in consultation with the Board of Investment and the Ministry of Labor will consider requests on a case-by-case basis. Note the ban on incoming international flights remains in effect until June 30, 2020.
Those seeking entry must submit their application at the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate General in the United States at least 10 business days before the date of intended departure. The application should include: (1) copy of a valid work permit or permission issued by an RTG agency to work in Thailand; and (2) a valid health insurance policy with coverage of at least $100,000, including coverage of COVID-19. If the request to enter is granted, the applicant must present the following at the airport: (1) boarding pass; (2) Certificate of Entry into the Kingdom of Thailand; (3) a completed and signed “Declaration Form;” (4) a “Fit-to-Fly” Health Certificate issued no more than 72 hours prior; and (5) a valid health insurance policy with coverage of at least $100,000, including coverage of COVID-19. In addition, travelers are subject to 14-day state quarantine upon arrival in a government-approved facility at their own expense.
Potential applicants should contact the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, DC or one of the Thai Consulates for more information, application forms, and other relevant required documents.
See Prior Updates
- UPDATE 5/18/2020: CAAT Extends Ban on Incoming International Flights Until June 30 – On May 15, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announced the extension until June 30, 2020 of the ban on incoming international flights.
- UPDATE 4/30/2020: Phuket Airport to Remain Closed: The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announced the Phuket International Airport will remain closed until further notice.
- Update 4/28/2020: National State of Emergency/Nation-wide Curfew Officially Extended to May 31: Today, the government spokesperson announced that the Cabinet has decided to extend to May 31 the national state of emergency and related measures, which includes maintaining border closures and the present 10 pm to 4 am curfew.
- Update 4/27/2020: Automatic visa extensions are in effect through July 31 for all types of temporary stay visas. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) extended the ban on incoming international flights until May 31. The National State of Emergency will likely be extended to May 31 as well. The Cabinet is scheduled to meet and vote on the measure on April 28
- Update 4/21/2020: KLM announced today the airline will cease operations from Bangkok until after April 30. JAL plans to reduce daily flights from Bangkok to twice per week.
- Update 4/20/2020: VietJet Air announced it is halting flights between Krabi Airport and Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) until May 1, 2020. There are no flights out of Krabi Airport until after April 30.
- Update 4/14/2020: The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announced the extension until 30 April 2020 of the ban on incoming international flights. The extension will likely mean a further reduction in outgoing international flights in the days ahead.
- Update 3/30/2020: 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.
- Update 3/29/2020: 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.
- Update 3/27/2020: 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.
- Update 3/27/2020: 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.
- National State of Emergency: The Royal Thai Government declared a national state of emergency in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Thailand until further notice. Under this order, the following provisions apply:
- Most restaurants, stores, and entertainment venues are closed except for food delivery, supermarkets, restaurants’ delivery service providers and food markets, drug stores, convenience stores, banks, and other stores selling necessary items.
- A nation-wide curfewis in effect from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. Except for emergency medical care and travel to and from the airport, U.S. citizens should remain in their residences and hotel rooms during those hours.
- 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 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.
- Provincial Emergency Measures: Several provinces in Thailand have closed their borders, requested most hotels to close, and instituted additional restrictions on movement within the province. 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. 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. (Please see ‘Travel within Thailand’ below for more specific information).
- If you are concerned about your continued stay in Thailand, we advise you to arrange for immediate return to the United States. Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. If you do not return to the United States, you should be prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.
- COVID-19 Treatment: Foreign nationals are required to pay for COVID-19 treatment while in Thailand. The cost of medical care for non-Thais will be charged to your health insurance, Social Security Fund or Welfare Fund. Testing and diagnosis are free of charge if you meet the Person Under Investigation (PUI) requirements such as fever + respiratory symptoms + travel to a high-risk area (or) respiratory symptoms, cough, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat (per the Ministry of Public Health).
- Embassy and Consulate Services Suspended: Effective 25 March 2020 until further notice, U.S. Embassy Bangkok and Consulate General Chiang Mai suspended routine consular services. For information about emergency American Citizens Services (ACS), including emergency passports, please visit the ACS website.
Entry and Exit Information in Thailand
- Ban on Entering Thailand: Under the Royal Thai Government’s 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. This decree is in effect until further notice.
- Suspension of Incoming Flights: The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has extended its ban on incoming international flights until at least June 30. Due to the possibility of dwindling commercial flight options out of Thailand, we strongly urge U.S. citizens to depart Thailand now while there are still outbound flights available.
- Automatic Visa Extension: On April 24, automatic visa extensions for foreign nationals went into effect. Temporary visas (of all types) will be extended automatically until 31 July 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.
- Chiang Mai and Phuket Airports: There are no longer international flights departing from Chiang Mai International Airport or Phuket International Airport until further notice.
- General Flight Information
- Please check the link to the most recent health alerts at the top of this page for a list of airlines that are still operating flights out of Thailand.
- The few remaining flight routes departing Thailand are subject to cancellation without notice, and many flights are heavily booked. 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.
- U.S. citizens should consider booking flights to major points of entry into the United States and then arrange for further domestic travel upon arrival.
- If you are having difficulty booking a flight back to the United States for any reason, including financial, please contact U.S. Embassy Bangkok immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org OR U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai at email@example.com. Government loans are available for the purchase of airline tickets to the United States if needed.
Travel within Thailand
- Guidance Regarding Travel Restriction Easement: The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and Consulate General in Chiang Mai advise all U.S. government personnel and U.S. citizens residing in Thailand to exercise caution as Thailand eases travel and social restrictions. All U.S citizens are encouraged to stay close to home. Many islands, parks, and popular beaches remain closed, and some provinces have strict entry requirements. It is strongly recommended that any personal trip be via a mode of transport that allows you to maintain appropriate social distancing, such as a personally-owned vehicle or individually-hired vehicle.
- If you chose to travel, please consider the following:
- Research the accessibility, quarantine requirements, availability of lodging, and documentation requirements for any inter-provincial trip in Thailand.
- Many popular destinations and hotels remain closed, and a curfew (11 pm to 4 am) remains in effect nationwide.
- All travelers should carry appropriate identification and wear face coverings when in public.
- Travelers should also comply with thermal screening checkpoints.
- All travelers are strongly encouraged to monitor travel conditions and requirements at the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s website. Information about restrictions across Thailand can also be found at the Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Disease Control COVID-19 website.
- If you chose to travel, please consider the following:
- Domestic Flights to Resume Under Strict Guidelines: The CAAT has announced new guidelines for the operation of domestic flights within Thailand. The key measures include: 1) passengers must wear face masks and gloves at all times; 2) passengers must adhere to airlines’ social distancing requirements from check-in and boarding through landing and there must be empty seats between passengers; 3) flight crews will wear masks and gloves at all times; and 4) flight crews will not serve food or beverages on the plane and passengers are prohibited from bringing outside food on the plane.
- General Provincial Border Restrictions: Many provinces are restricting entry into or travel through their provinces. These restrictions can include a thorough inspection of travelers, mandatory quarantines, or outright prohibition on entry for non-residents. U.S. citizens traveling within Thailand should research restrictions at their destination and provinces they will be transiting prior to their departure.
- 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. 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.
- Chiang Mai: Local authorities will quarantine all foreigners who enter Chiang Mai province at their residence or in a location provided by the Department of Disease Control. People who violate the quarantine may be fined 100,000 baht, sentenced to one year in prison, or both. The announcement is available in Thai on the Facebook page for Chiang Mai’s Provincial Office for Public Health.
- Phuket Travel Restrictions: The Provincial Government of Phuket confirmed the closure of the Phuket International Airport from 00:01 a.m. April 10 until further notice
- For those in Phuket, the airport is closed until further notice, and the land and maritime borders are also closed. The Provincial Government of Phuket has approved movements between Phuket and the Surat Thani Airport. The U.S. Embassy must provide the provincial government your information at least three days before your flight in order to receive clearance by local officials. See below for details. The U.S. Embassy will provide you a travel letter in order to cross the provincial border. You must carry the letter along with your boarding pass. Travelers should discuss options for getting to Surat Thani with their hotel or they can choose to rent a car.
- We are ready to assist you with the provision of a travel letter in order to facilitate your travel to Bangkok. In order to receive a travel letter from the Embassy, you must provide a confirmed itinerary. You must also provide your name, as written in your passport, date of birth, and passport number. Please write these out. Do not send us a scan of your passport page. Please send the requested information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Further limitations on movement between Phuket’s 17 districts (Tambun) are in effect.
- The Provincial Government of Phuket ordered all licensed hotels in Phuket to close effective Saturday, April 4, 2020 until further notice. Existing guests may remain in hotels until their departure but hotels will not be allowed to accept new guests.
- 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.
- Thai Government Public Relations Department
- Immigration Bureau of Thailand
- Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Disease Control COVID-19 website.
- The Ministry of Public Health provides a list of 44 laboratories approved to conduct COVID-19 testing found here.
- The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s website
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Global Level 3 Travel Warning.
- See the CDC’s latest recommendations about reducing your risk of contracting COVID-19.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov to review the Department of State’s Level 4 Travel Warning.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the U.S.
- Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive health updates from American Citizen Services in Thailand.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy on Facebook and Twitter.