Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Thailand extending the nationwide state of emergency through Aug. 31. Most inbound flights remain banned. Other measures in effect.
- Alert Begins: 30 Jul 2020 07:15 AM UTC
- Alert Expires: 31 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Transport, travel, and business disruptions
Authorities have extended the nationwide state of emergency through Aug. 31 to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), amid the continued easing of some measures. Businesses can operate with social distancing measures in place. Conferences, seminars, and concerts can also occur with health controls. Protocols include frequently sanitizing the venues and requiring the use of masks and temperature monitoring. Most schools have reopened. Domestic flights can operate with full passenger capacity as long as safeguards, such as requiring passengers to wear protective face coverings, are in place. Public transport has resumed with 70 percent of passenger capacity and other precautions.
Local authorities in several provinces may also enforce localized measures. Provincial officials may screen arrivals and quarantine symptomatic passengers, while governments in other areas may isolate all incoming travelers regardless of symptoms. Officials may reestablish or introduce nationwide or local-level restrictions in the coming weeks if COVID-19 cases increase. Authorities have sometimes provided conflicting information about COVID-19 restrictions in recent weeks; changes to measures may occur at short notice.
Most inbound international flights remain banned. Exemptions are in place for cargo, emergency, and repatriation flights and government aircraft. People who can still enter Thailand will undergo a 14-day quarantine at government-designated facilities upon arrival, with limited exemptions. The government may allow resident diplomats and their family members to isolate at their residence for two weeks. Authorities have reopened several land checkpoints, though officials continue to ban foreigners from entering the country through border checkpoints.
The government announced plans to allow entry for more groups of foreigners, but the start date of the measure is unclear. The categories of foreigners include businesspeople, migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar, people participating in exhibitions, film crew members, people seeking medical treatment in Thailand, and those holding a Thailand Elite Card, a program for frequent business visitors. While authorities have extended short-term visas for foreigners already in Thailand through Sept. 26, these foreigners will not be able to remain in the country past that date, with exemptions for people who are ill, among others.
Background and Analysis
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.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.
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.