Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Thailand maintaining state of emergency through at least May 31. National, local level restrictions ongoing. Some measures eased.

This alert affects Thailand

This alert began 14 May 2020 08:10 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport, travel, and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities are maintaining a nationwide state of emergency through at least May 31 to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). A nationwide 2200-0400 nightly curfew remains in effect, with exceptions for essential and emergency purposes. The government continues to suspend transport 2130-0400 nightly; authorities also maintain a ban on public gatherings and closure of educational institutions. Officials have advised residents - especially those under the age of five, over the age of 70, or with preexisting health conditions - to remain at home.

The central government, however, has allowed several types of businesses, including traditional food markets, shopping malls, restaurants, massage parlors, fitness centers, and gyms, to resume operations with precautions in place. Companies must ensure the usage of face masks and physical distancing measures. Domestic flights have restarted operations with precautions, such as leaving empty seats in each row, requiring passengers to wear face masks, and not serving food and beverages. Thai authorities have sometimes provided conflicting information about COVID-19 restrictions in recent weeks; changes to measures may occur at short notice.

Local-level measures are in place in several provinces or cities. The central authorities have instructed provincial officials to screen arrivals from Phuket Province, which has one of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases in the country, and quarantine symptomatic passengers. Travel to and from Phuket Province remains restricted as of May 14. Arrivals in several other provinces, including Buri Ram, Chiang Mai, and Phitsanulok, will require self-quarantine for 14 days; affected individuals without a residence can undergo isolation at government-designated facilities. Chiang Rai Province requires people who have recently spent more than one day in Bangkok and the capital's neighboring provinces, and Narathiwat, Pattani, Phuket, Satun, and Yala provinces to self-quarantine for two weeks. The local government in Pattaya has closed all beaches through May 31. Local authorities may reestablish or introduce new interprovincial movement restrictions in the coming weeks if COVID-19 cases increase.

Travel Restrictions

The government has banned foreigners from entering the country, with some exemptions, including for diplomats and transport workers. A ban on inbound passenger flights remains in effect through May 31. Cargo, emergency, and repatriation flights and government aircraft will continue operating. Authorities have approved visa extensions for foreigners already in Thailand through July 31.

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.

Advice
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.


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