Travel Advice Thailand 2020 – as of 13th August 2020
On 12th March 2020 the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic. This led to travel restrictions and border closures around the world and now, in August, we are starting to see these restrictions easing and people looking again to book holidays. Travel restrictions in each country vary and here, at Travala.com, we want to ensure that you, our customers, are provided with the latest travel advice for the key destinations favoured by you.
The first cases of Coronavirus19 (COVID-19) were confirmed in the city of Wuhan, China on 31st December 2019 and since then, it has proceeded to spread to 215 countries and territories with over 20,162,474 people so far testing positive for the virus. (Source: WHO)
Thailand confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 13th January 2020 and by 13th August 2020, 3,356 cases were confirmed with 58 sadly having died from the virus. On 20th March, The World Health Organization announced that Thailand would be joining a multi-country clinical study, the “Solidarity Trial”, for potential treatments for COVID-19. (Source: WHO)
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus, a large family of viruses which can cause illness in humans. Coronavirus infections in humans can result in coryzal symptoms as seen in a common cold and more severe respiratory symptoms such as pneumonia. In recent years, we have seen outbreaks of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
COVID-19 is the most recently discovered coronavirus and it is spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth. The method of transmission is often via cough, sneeze or exhalation. People breathing in these droplets or touching the surfaces these droplets land on and who touch their eyes, nose or mouth are at risk of developing COVID-19.
The World Health Organisation continues to assess ongoing research on the means of transmission of COVID-19 but general advice is to maintain distance from others, regularly wash hands and avoid touching your face.
Many countries have implemented temporary travel restrictions and COVID-19 has impacted on events and activities. In the Travala.com travel advice newsletter we will endeavour to provide you with the latest travel advice on key destinations.
Current Travel Advice for Thailand, as at 13th August 2020
Is it safe to travel to Thailand in 2020?
Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority has announced, on 2nd July 2020, that all passenger flights to Thailand will be temporarily banned from landing in the country to restrict the transmission of COVID-19.
The Thai government has announced, on 27th May, an extension of the state of emergency for another month from Aug 1 to Aug 31. (Source: The Government Public Relation Department).
This travel ban has been extended to August 31st 2020.
From 26th March 2020 to 30th April 2020 all access points to Thailand by aircraft, boats, cars, or other vehicles have been closed.
Thai nationals, diplomats and members of international organizations operating in Thailand and their families who need to return to Thailand from overseas will be allowed on condition that they have “fit-to-fly” health certificates.
Prior to this, Thailand first introduced travel restrictions on 5th March 2020 with instructions that visitors from the Republic of Korea, the People’s Republic of China, including the Macao and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, the Italian Republic and Islamic Republic of Iran (Islamic Republic of Iran) should be quarantined.
From 19th March 2020, travellers visiting Thailand had to provide a health certificate and travel insurance.
On 22nd March 2020, two types of risk areas were designated by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health. Those visiting from the aforementioned countries of the Republic of Korea, the People’s Republic of China, including the Macao and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, the Italian Republic and Islamic Republic of Iran (Islamic Republic of Iran) would be asked to present medical certificates at immigration checkpoints while they should also be quarantined for 14 days upon their arrival.
It is now the responsibility of airlines to check the recent travel histories of passengers to ascertain if they have visited high-risk areas.
Visitors to Thailand from Bulgaria, Bhutan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu and China will no longer be able to apply for a visa on arrival to Thailand while Thailand has currently suspended its visa exemption policies for travelers from Hong Kong, Italy and South Korea. Instead, visa applications must be made prior to departure from their home country.
In addition, any visitors to Thailand with ongoing outbreaks need to permit the installation of a government’s tracking app on their mobile phones.
On 22 July, the Thai government announced that four types of foreigners are now allowed to enter Thailand, and are subject to 14-days quarantine and potential COVID-19 testing upon arrival. These categories include:
- Foreigners participating in trade fairs in Thailand
- Foreign film crews filming in Thailand
- Foreign workers from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar for food and construction industries
- Foreign visitors for medical and wellness services.
From Aug 3rd 2020 (slight amendments from previous announcement), the following types of foreigners are now allowed to enter Thailand, and are subject to 14-days quarantine and potential COVID-19 testing upon arrival (Source:The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand):
- Persons with exemption or persons being considered, permitted or invited by the Prime Minister, or the head of responsible persons accountable for resolving state of emergency issues to enter the Kingdom, pertaining to necessity.
- Persons on diplomatic or consular missions or under International organizations, or representatives of foreign governments performing their duties in the Kingdom, or persons of other international agencies as permitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pertaining to necessity, including their spouse, parents, or children.
- Crew members who are required to travel into the Kingdom on a mission, and have a specified date and time for return
- Non-Thai nationals who are a spouse, parents, or children of a Thai national.
- Non-Thai nationals who hold a valid certificate of permanent residency in the Kingdom, or permission to take up residence in the Kingdom
- Non-Thai nationals who have work permits or have been granted permission from government agencies to work in the Kingdom, including their spouse or children.
- Non-Thai nationals who are students of educational institutions approved by Thai authorities, including the parents or guardians of the students, except for students of non-formal educational institutions under the law on Private schools and of other similar private educational institutions
- Non-Thai nationals who are in need of medical treatment in Thailand, and their attendants. However, this shall not include medical treatment for COVID19
- Non-Thai nationals who are permitted to enter the Kingdom under a special arrangement with a foreign country
This page will have updates for the latest travel advice for Thailand.
Flight changes to and from Thailand
From March 26th 2020 to June 30th 2020 all access points to Thailand by aircraft, boats, cars, or other vehicles have been closed.
Prior to this period and possibly afterwards, some airlines have cancelled or rescheduled services. It is advisable to maintain contact with your airline for their latest advice.
Cancelled events in Thailand
From March 26th 2020, a State or Emergency has been decreed in Thailand and will continue until at least June 30th 2020 in an effort to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 in Thailand.
During this state of emergency, people are prohibited from entering areas and places at risk of COVID-19 infection and Thai governors have been permitted to close locations where many people gather for various activities.
This has seen the temporary closure of bars, clubs, gyms, sport venues, including Muay Thai arenas, cinemas, massage shops and entertainment venues.
Having been closed, the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) in Bangkok will reopen on June 4th 2020.
With celebrations planned throughout the country, Thailand’s biggest festival, the Songkran Festival, arranged for April 13-15 has been postponed although small family gatherings are permitted.
Coronavirus19 (COVID-19) FAQ – Travel
Question: Should I cancel my vacation to Thailand?
Answer: With the pandemic being a constantly evolving and changing situation you should check for latest updates on travel advice for both your country of departure and your destination via respected Government websites and the Travala.com travel advice newsletter.
With refundable bookings on Travala.com you can be assured that if you do need to cancel your vacation that you will be refunded.
Question: If I decide to travel to Thailand, are there any precautions that can be taken to minimise the risk of infection?
- Avoid contact with people displaying symptoms.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with hands, especially if unwashed.
- Make sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol.
- While the focus is on COVID-19 please ensure that you are up to date with your routine vaccinations, such as the flu vaccine and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Question: Is there an increased risk of infection whilst travelling by air?
Answer: Due to how air is filtered and circulated on airplanes, many viruses and germs do not spread easily. Many countries now also operate immigration medical checks to identify any passengers who may pose a risk.
Question: Should travellers wear masks in Thailand?
Answer: Anyone who displays symptoms of COVID-19 is encouraged to wear a mask as it restricts the spread of the virus. For the uninfected, the wearing of masks is not deemed to significantly reduce the risk of infection, but you may wish to consider the customs of your destination.
For instance, all passengers travelling on trains in Thailand must wear a face mask while they are encouraged on all other modes of transport.
Question: What can I expect on arriving and departing at airports?
Answer: In some countries screening for all passengers entering and leaving their country is being conducted. Before being allowed to board a flight, you may be questioned about your health and your travel history and have your temperature taken.
Travel advice pages
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