Thai authorities clarify self-quarantine not compulsory for visitors from designated locations. Enhanced monitoring possible as of March 9.

Severity: Warning Alert

This alert began 09 Mar 2020 02:57 GMT and is scheduled to expire 19 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Enhanced health screenings
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Longer immigration wait times; possible quarantine measures

Summary
Thai authorities have clarified that travelers from mainland China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Macau, and South Korea, which officials have designated as high-risk areas, will not face compulsory self-quarantine. The measure is part of the government's attempt to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Authorities had earlier said self-quarantine for visitors from the places was compulsory from March 6, before explaining that the measures were a recommendation and not an order. Regardless, the health ministry has warned it would issue regulations for travelers from the affected locations, and government officials may require travelers from these locations to report their health conditions daily. Failure to comply with those orders or providing false information could trigger fines and/or quarantine measures.

Officials have also increased health screenings at international airports. Travelers who display known symptoms of COVID-19 will be immediately transferred to designated hospitals. The measures are unlikely to impact most travelers but may lead to immigration delays, especially for passengers from mainland China and the other affected locations. Authorities could expand their response in the coming weeks, particularly if COVID-19 activity increases in-country.

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

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. 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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