Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Thailand extends state of emergency through May 31 due to COVID-19. Nationwide and localized movement controls ongoing.
This alert affects Thailand
This alert began 28 Apr 2020 10:38 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 May 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Transport, travel, and business disruptions
Thailand extended a state of emergency through May 31 as it continues efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under the order, a 2200-0400 nightly curfew will remain 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. Officials have also banned public gatherings and closed schools and universities nationwide. The government has closed most public venues or is severely restricting access to them. Authorities intend to begin easing some restrictions on businesses, provided employers can ensure social distancing for customers and staff; however, officials have not publicized details.
Public transport remains suspended 2130-0400 daily nationwide, with interprovincial travel limited to essential needs. Additionally, 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. Local authorities could extend movement restrictions further in the coming days.
The government has banned foreigners from entering the country, with some limited exemptions, including for diplomats and transport workers. Officials have extended a ban on inbound passenger flights through May 31. Cargo, emergency, and repatriation flights, and government aircraft will continue operating. The Thai government has 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.