Thai officials require passengers boarding flights from high-risk areas to show health certificates, as of March 10. Other measures apply.

Severity: Warning Alert

This alert began 10 Mar 2020 08:45 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
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has announced that airlines must require passengers boarding flights for Thailand from mainland China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Macau, and South Korea, to present health certificates before obtaining boarding passes. The measure is part of the government's attempt to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Several airlines, such as Thai Airways (TG), are implementing the restrictions on routes from cities in the affected locations. Officials are also requiring affected passengers to submit the health certificate and a completed health questionnaire form to disease control officials for verification upon arrival in Thailand.

As of March 10, Thai officials are not forcing travelers from the aforementioned locations, which the government has designated as high-risk areas, to self-quarantine. Authorities had earlier said self-quarantine for visitors from high-risk areas was compulsory, before explaining that the measures were a recommendation and not an order. Regardless, the health ministry has warned that 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 high-risk 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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