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According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Thailand has seen under 20 new Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases for the fourth consecutive day, from 19 on 21 April, 15 on 22 April, 13 yesterday, and 15 today.
But whether any travel restrictions will be lifted anytime soon will depend on the decision by the Royal Thai Government.
The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), has appointed a special committee comprising representatives from the public and private sector organisations.
The committee is currently discussing several options for lifting or easing the COVID-19 restrictions pending Cabinet approval. On the provincial level, local restrictions may be lifted or eased pending on the provincial governors and that they are in line with the nationwide measures.Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)
Highlights for today, 24 April, 2020
- 15 new cases bringing the total to 2,854. Of these, 87.25% (2,490) have recovered, about 1.75% (50) have died – no new deaths today, and 11% (314) are receiving treatment.
- To date, 68 of the total 77 provinces have reported cases.
- 35 of these 68 provinces have reported new cases during the past 14-28 days: Amnat Charoen, Buri Ram, Chachoengsao, Chaiyaphum, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Kalasin, Kanchanaburi, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Mukdahan, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Sawan, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Nong Khai, Phayao, Phetchaburi, Phitsanulok, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ratchaburi, Rayong, Sa Kaeo, Sakon Nakhon, Samut Songkhram, Saraburi, Si Sa Ket, Suphan Buri, Surat Thani, Surin, Tak, Trang, Ubon Ratchathani, and Uttaradit.
- 10 of these 68 provinces have not reported any new cases during the past 28 days: Chanthaburi, Lop Buri, Maha Sarakham, Phetchabun, Phrae, Roi Et, Sukhothai, Udon Thani, Uthai Thani, and Yasothon.
- Nine of the 77 provinces continue to remain free of the virus: Ang Thong, Bueng Kan, Chai Nat, Kamphaeng Phet, Nan, Phichit, Ranong, Sing Buri, and Trat. Satun is also added to this group because of no local cases but is handling cases from the state quarantine.
- The provinces that have reported the most cases are Bangkok (1,457), Phuket (200), Nonthaburi (152), Samut Prakan (111), Yala (99), Chon Buri (86), Pattani (79), Songkhla (44), Chiang Mai (40), and Pathum Thani (37). The numbers do not include the cases from the state quarantine.
REMINDER: National State of Emergency
On 25 March, 2020, the Royal Thai Government declared a State of Emergency and enacted the 2005 Emergency Decree in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Thailand. The Emergency Decree is in place from 26 March, 2020, to 30 April, 2020. As stated above, the government would assess the situation again during the last week of April 2020.
A recap of the first raft of measures issued under the Emergency Decree
- Restrictions for access to risk areas.
- Closure of risk areas.
- Closure of entry/access points (land, sea and air) to the country.
- Restrictions on hoarding of consumer items and ensuring of price controls on items.
- Restrictions on large gatherings.
- Restrictions on the deliberate dispensing of distorted information.
- Avoid commuting between provinces.
- Restrictions for people under 5 years of age and over 70 as those with chronic medical conditions from leaving their living premises unless extremely necessary.
- Nationwide night-time curfew from 22.00 – 04.00 Hrs. from 3 April, 2020, until further notice.
- Banning all incoming passenger flights from 4 April, 2020, until 30 April, 2020.
- Bangkok and the 76 provinces have also issued specific restrictions that vary from province to province, including provincial border closure, hotel closure, alcohol sales ban, etc. (See: Summary of Thai provinces banning entry and alcohol sales)
Visa relief measures announced on 7 April, 2020
- Any person whose visa has expired from 26 March, 2020, would be automatically extended to 30 April 2020. There is no need to apply for a visa extension at the Immigration Office for this period and would not be fined THB 500 per day for this case.
- Aliens who are due for 90-day reports between 26 March, 2020, and 30 April, 2020, are temporarily exempted from reporting during this period until further notice.
- Aliens who are holding Border Passes will be allowed to stay in Thailand for now. However, Aliens with Border Passes must depart Thailand within 7 days of the border crossing points opening date.
- Aliens are advised to follow announcements regarding Immigration measures closely for updates. (Currently measures have been announced until 30 April, 2020, or further updates)
On 21 April, 2020, the Thai cabinet approved the extension to the current visa relief measures, to cover a new period from 1 May – 31 July, 2020. However, the new dates will not be official until the extension has been published in the Royal Thai Government Gazette.
Public transport suspend/adjust services
- For domestic and international air travel, kindly check with the respective airlines regarding flight suspensions and the options for tickets booked during the suspended periods.
- Bangkok’s mass transit systems: Airport Rail Link, BTS Skytrain and MRT Bangkok Metro have adjusted their daily operating hours to fall between 05.00 – 21.30 Hrs.; Bangkok’s bus and boat service hours are also in accordance with the curfew.
- Inter-provincial bus services on routes with a distance of over 300 kilometres, including ticketing services, have been suspended. Services on routes with a distance of less than 300 kilometres are still operating, from 05.00 – 16.00 Hrs., at reduced frequency with strict social distancing rules applying.
- Long-distance train services on about 30 routes from Bangkok to the North, Northeast and South have been suspended.
Once again, TAT would like to remind all international and domestic tourists to stay safe through this difficult time, prepare for the time when travel and tourism returns, and we can all enjoy the amazing Thai travel experiences with our beloved family and friends.
TAT is constantly providing updates on the tourism-related COVID-19 situation in Thailand at the TAT Newsroom (https://www.tatnews.org/). For additional information and assistance relating to Thailand’s tourism, contact the TAT Contact Centre 1672 or Tourist Police 1155.
For constant updates of Thailand’s COVID-19 control measures for travellers, please visit https://ddc.moph.go.th/viralpneumonia/eng/index.php.