Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Thailand extends ban on inbound passenger flights through May 31 due to COVID-19. Nationwide and localized movement controls ongoing.
This alert affects Thailand
This alert began 27 Apr 2020 09:49 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 May 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Transport, travel, and business disruptions
Officials have extended a ban on inbound passenger flights through May 31 to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Cargo, emergency, and repatriation flights, and government aircraft will continue operating.
Other nationwide measures, which are part of a state of emergency declared through April 30, continue. A 2200-0400 nightly curfew remains in effect nationwide, with exceptions for essential and emergency purposes. Authorities have advised residents - especially those under the age of five, over the age of 70, or with preexisting health conditions - to remain at home. Public transport remains suspended 2130-0400 daily nationwide, with interprovincial travel limited to essential needs. Officials have also banned public gatherings and closed schools and universities nationwide. The government has closed most public venues or are severely restricting access to them. While there have not been widespread business closures, measures such as social distancing and limited operating hours are in force.
While there have been no transport restrictions at the national level, several provincial or city officials are maintaining local-level movement restrictions. 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. Local authorities in Bangkok have closed public parks, entertainment venues, some sporting venues, and retail outlets such as convenience stores and supermarkets 0000-0500 daily during the state of emergency. Authorities in Surat Thani Province's Ko Samui are allowing entry only for visitors with medical certificates verifying they do not have COVID-19 through April 30. Travel in and out of Pattaya, Chon Buri Province, remains restricted through at least April 30, with exemptions for residents and people who work there. Additional provinces or cities may impose movement restrictions.
Several airlines, including Bangkok Airways (PG), Nok Air (DD), Thai AirAsia (FD), and Thai Lion Air (SL), intend to resume domestic flights from May 1. Airlines will implement precautions, including leaving empty seats in each row, requiring passengers to wear face masks, and not serving food and beverages.
The government has banned foreigners from entering the country, with some limited exemptions, including for diplomats and transport workers. The Thai government also approved visa extensions for foreigners already in Thailand through July 31.
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.
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.