Thailand Extends The Ban On Foreign Passenger Arrivals Until 31st May 2020

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Thailand has instituted a ban all non-citizens arriving in Thailand from March 25 through April 30, 2020 and the authorities have now extended this restriction until at least May 31, 2020.

Even before this rule the country already tightened entry requirements requiring arriving passengers to have a medical certificate that they are not infected withCOVID-19 and proof that they have a travel insurance with a minimum of $100,000 in coverage.

This extended ban means that any foreigners with visa such as work permits, marriage visa or Thailand Elite as well as general tourist visa will be unable to travel to Thailand for at least another month.

Only foreigners who hold Permanent Residence in Thailand (very few) are allowed to come back to the Kingdom and there was a report in the Bangkok post last week about the conditions at the Army camp where the mandatory 14 day quarantine will be held.

Here’s an article announcing the initial ban from the Bangkok Post (read more here):

Foreigners will be banned from entering the country under the emergency decree being invoked to combat at the coronavirus pandemic.

The emergency decree comes into effect at midnight on Wednesday, and remains in force through April 30.

The decree bans all foreigners from entry at all entry points – the exceptions being shippers, diplomats, drivers, pilots and others permitted by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

An updated article was published today regarding the extension of the decree.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Monday decided to extend the Emergency Decree for another month after it expires on April 30.

CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said on Monday the decree will be extended to the end of May.

The reason is concern about the return of the virus, with the centre still battling to stop it spreading any further.

The decision means the night curfew from 10pm-4am will continue, no social gatherings allowed and only limited inter-provincial travel, among other restrictions, Dr Taweesilp said. …

Richard Barrow also updated his followers on his Twitter feed after the decision came out.

This is not to be confused with a ban on international flights to arrive and depart from Thailand as it has been introduced for a short while in early April after authorities lost control of several hundred Thai passengers who refused to go into quarantine upon arrival.

The ban on air traffic was lifted and now flights are going back and forth again, carrying Thai citizens abroad back home if they choose to do so and taking foreigners out of Thailand. Several commercial carriers are flying out of Bangkok at the moment though prices might be steep. Thai Airways is still not operating any flights.

Foreigners in Thailand holding tourist visas and visa exempt stamps have finally been granted an automatic extension until July 31st, allowing them to stay put without having to fear penalties and possible future bans from the country.

Conclusion

The overall situation in Thailand is fine. Regular retail stores are closed with the exception of supermarkets, pharmacies and convenience stores. Restaurants and coffee shops can open and serve customers via take out or delivery. Food delivery apps/websites are thriving. It remains to be seen when shopping malls and services like hair dressers will finally reopen. Currently a date of May 4th is circulating for this.

It’s understandable and reasonable to keep the borders shut for now though this has created lots of trouble for many people especially those who hold work permits in Thailand and essentially have their household there. These people are now trapped somewhere abroad although there was a writing on the wall that Thailand would close the borders so they should have come back at the earliest opportunity.

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