Thailand's government has announced it will be imposing a one-month state of emergency, starting Thursday 26 March, allowing it to impose stricter measures to control the coronavirus.
On 30 January 2020, the WHO delcared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that originally emerged in Wuhan, China. On Wednesday 11 March, 2020, the World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.
Starting March 22, 2020, all travelers both foreigners and Thai residents (regardless of countries they are traveling from) are required to present a medical certificate signed by a medical professional confirming no evidence of the coronavirus infection in the previous 72 hours, and evidence of travel insurance of no less than US$100,000 which covers COVID-19. Failure to meet these requirements will mean passengers are not permitted to board their flight.
On March 21 the Bangkok Governor announced 26 venue types will be closed until April 12. This includes shopping malls, restaurants, food halls and similar food consumption areas, hairdressers, swimming pools, golf courses, and arcades.
Supermarkets, stalls selling food and fresh produce, restaurant takeaway services, pharmacies and other business that sell essential goods are exempt from the guidelines. Provinces surrounding Bangkok will implement similar measures for the same period.
The Chaing Mai Governor implemented similar measures to be in place from March 23 until April 13.
Follow the advice from the WHO: wash your hands consistently, maintain at least 3ft (1m) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing, and if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early (call before visiting your doctor).
Stay up to date with local news and media to monitor the local situation closely, and pay attention to your government's travel advice.
On Tuesday 5th November, 15 people were killed by gunmen in one of the worst attacks Thailand has seen in years.
This serves as a reminder to all travelers that the region bordering Malaysia in Thailand's south is listed as "Do Not Travel" by many government travel advisories. This includes Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla.
Violence in this region is not new – thousands have been killed in southern Thailand since a separatist insurgency gripped the region in 2004.
If you are planning on entering Thailand via one of it's land borders, read our tips here on which crossings are safe, and which borders should be avoided.
Koh Samui Airport and other airports in southern Thailand are open however there may still be delays, so check with your airline prior to travel. Ferry services between the mainland and Koh Samui have resumed. The ferry service between Pattaya and Hua Hin has also resumed.
Thailand is preparing for Tropical Storm Pabuk as it makes its way westward into the Gulf of Thailand, where it's due to make landfall on Wednesday 3rd January in southern parts of the country and continue to cause damage until the 5th January. Popular tourist spots such as Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Krabi, Koh Lanta, Koh Tao and other islands will be impacted, with a high risk of heavy rain and coastal flooding.
The storm has already produced torrential rains and flooding in Vietnam and Cambodia. Meterologists are continually monitoring the storm system as there are concerns it could gather strength in the Gulf and evolve into a cyclone.
Numerous beaches have been closed in the areas to be impacted by the storm system (often marked with a red flag). Follow all local warnings and signage regarding beach closures and do not swim.
Authorities have issued warnings to the public and all hotels, resorts and tour operators. Ferry services from the mainland to the islands and inter-island have been canceled. The ferry service between Pattaya and Hua Hin has been suspended until further notice due to high winds and rough conditions in the Gulf of Thailand.
Several airlines have canceled flights to/from Koh Samui and flights are also affected flying to/from Phuket and other airports in southern Thailand. Travelers are advised to check with their airline prior to departure.
Please check with authorities for more information, follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation.
Travelers are reminded that a military junta is in charge of Thailand and martial law may be re-imposed in tourist areas at short notice. Martial law allows the authorities to make laws by decree, and to detain, arrest or deport people without reference to the judicial system. These powers are often given to local commanders – basically the local police or army chief can make it up as he sees fit. Decrees made in one area may not apply elsewhere.
Travelers to Thailand are warned that circumstances had changed in the country following the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on October 13th, 2016. The 88 year old monarch was much loved and widely respected in Thailand, it's advised to show respect and sympathy to the Thai people. A year long period of mourning has recently ended with a five day funeral ceremony finishing on October 30th.
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