Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Thailand extends ban on inbound flights through April 30. National, provincial, and local movement controls ongoing.

This alert affects Thailand

This alert began 15 Apr 2020 07:28 GMT and is scheduled to expire 06 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport, travel, and business disruptions

Summary
Officials have extended a ban on inbound passenger flights through April 30 to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The government has also banned foreigners from entering the country, with some limited exemptions, including for diplomats and transport workers. A state of emergency is active through April 30.

A nationwide curfew remains in effect 2200-0400 daily, with limited exceptions for medical personnel and patients and civil servants on duty. Public transport nationwide remains suspended 2130-0400 daily. Officials have also banned public gatherings and closed schools and universities nationwide. Authorities have encouraged all residents to remain at home and limit interprovincial travel. The government has advised people under the age of five, over the age of 70, or with preexisting health conditions to remain at their homes.

While there have been no transport restrictions at the national level, provincial officials have implemented transport bans. Several provinces, such as Narathiwat, Pattani, Phang Nga, Phuket, Satun, Songkhla, and Yala, are maintaining province-wide movement restrictions as of April 15. Phuket Province has suspended all incoming transport through April 30, with exemptions for the transport of essential goods, and banned crew members of cargo ships from disembarking at its ports. Authorities are also banning travel to and from Phang Nga Province with limited exemptions. Officials in Songkhla Province are also prohibiting people from entering high-risk areas in Singha Nakhon, Khuan Niang, and Bang Klam districts through April 30. Individuals caught breaching movement restrictions may be subject to a fine or imprisonment. Additional provinces may impose movement restrictions if the number of COVID-19 cases increases.

Local governments have also issued restrictions. Authorities in Bangkok have closed public parks, entertainment venues, and some sporting venues, while retail outlets, such as convenience stores and supermarkets, must close 0000-0500 daily during the state of emergency. Authorities in Ko Samui, Surat Thani Province, are allowing entry only for visitors with medical certificates verifying they do not have COVID-19 through April 30. Officials are also restricting travel in and out of Pattaya, Chon Buri Province, through at least April 30, with exemptions for residents and people who work there.

Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Confirm all travel arrangements. Follow official instructions, particularly if traveling from affected locations. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings at all ports of entry. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int