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26 Mar 2020 | 06:40 AM UTC

Thailand: Entry restrictions and state of emergency announced amid COVID-19 pandemic March 25 /update 16

Authorities restrict entry to Thailand effective March 25 and declare state of emergency amid COVID-19 pandemic; confirm travel itineraries

entry/exit
health
transportation
THA

Event

Effective Wednesday, March 25, authorities prohibited the entry of foreign non-resident nationals in efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Exceptions will be made for diplomats and their families, and foreigners with residency or valid work permits. A state of emergency was also announced, giving the Thai government sweeping powers to respond to the public health crisis. Authorities have asked people not to travel home to their families, have set up screening checkpoints to monitor travel between provinces, and have not ruled out ordering people in badly affected areas to stay at home.

Earlier on Sunday, March 22, public spaces were ordered closed including department stores, malls, dine-in restaurants, and entertainment venues.

As of Thursday, March 26, 1045 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the country, alongside four associated fatalities and 70 recoveries. Further international spread of the virus is likely over the coming weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.