Thailand Extends The Ban On Foreign Passenger Arrivals Until June 30, 2020

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Thailand has instituted a ban on all non-citizens arriving in Thailand since March 25 and the authorities have now extended this restriction until at least June 30, 2020.

Just two weeks ago Thailand has extended this restriction until May 31, 2020 so now they racked it up another month which means no foreigners will be able to enter the country even if they hold long term resident visas such as retirement, employment or the Elite visa.

Even before this rule the country already tightened entry requirements requiring arriving passengers to have a medical certificate that they are not infected with COVID-19 and proof that they have a travel insurance with a minimum of $100,000 in coverage. This was then later modified into a total ban.

Currently only foreigners who hold Permanent Residence in Thailand (very few) are allowed to come back to the Kingdom and there was a media report a few weeks ago about the bad conditions at the Army camp where the mandatory 14 day quarantine will be held.

Here is the info of the CAAT (Civil Aviation Authority):

This is not to be confused with a full 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.

Airlines that currently operate are:

  • EVA Air (to London)
  • Korean Air
  • KLM
  • Lufthansa
  • Qatar Airways

Foreigners in Thailand holding tourist visas and visa exempt stamps have recently 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.

Yesterday the Thai Ministry of Health announced that they would take China (!), Hong Kong, Macao and South Korea off their danger list.

Thailand has decided to remove South Korea as well as China and its Hong Kong and Macao territories from its list of Disease Infected Zones for Covid-19 as it further relaxes measures against the outbreak by allowing more businesses, including shopping malls, to reopen on Sunday.

The curfew will also begin one hour later and run from 11pm to 4am.

China and South Korea have been on the Public Health Ministry list since March 6 when the situation was still highly volatile, just before Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha declared a state of emergency. Anyone coming from the countries on the list must undergo 14 days of state quarantine.

Now, with the virus reported to have been well contained in the two countries, “We have agreed to issue a new announcement to de-list them,” Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Friday.

This sounds extremely logical, taking China (the place where this whole mess originated) off the danger list. Maybe because their numbers are so reliable? For sure this chicken is coming home to roost at some point.

Right now this doesn’t really mean anything though as the flight ban will remain in place for everyone no matter if your country is on the list or not. It’s likely though that the countries who come off the list will be the first who can potentially enter the Kingdom again in the future.

Conclusion

The overall situation in Thailand is fine. Regular retail stores and shopping malls are scheduled to open again tomorrow. Many restaurants and coffee shops are open for almost two weeks already with most others serving customers via take out or delivery. Food delivery apps/websites are thriving.

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, let alone family. 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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