Confirmed cases: 2,811
Number of deaths: 48*
Thailand has blocked all foreign arrivals, imposed curfews and closed a range of businesses and public buildings nationwide since 26th March. To curb the spread of the virus, restaurants, shopping malls and markets are closed, along with cinemas, salons, golf courses, pubs, nightclubs, health spas, swimming pools and stadiums. The emergency measures will remain in place until 30th April 2020.
The popular holiday island of Phuket closed off its links by land, air and sea on 13th April, while also conducting door-to-door screening for all residents.
A total of nine airlines have already opted to suspend flights to Thailand.
Reasons for optimism:
Following several consecutive days with no new cases of COVID-19, Phuket will reopen for business on 30th April. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha confirmed last week that Thailand will begin lifting its domestic travel restrictions, provided social distancing and hygiene protocols continue to be practiced.
The province of Chonburi will be opened on Friday, 1st May 2020, provided the current situation does not worsen during April. The combined reopening of Phuket and Chonburi will provide a model for further recovery nationwide.
Tourists in Thailand have been granted visa amnesty throughout April. According to a government statement on 7th April, any visas that expire after 26th March will automatically be extended to 30th April 2020. Foreign nationals will not be required to apply in person for an extension at an immigration office and the usual daily overstay fee of 500 baht will also be waived.
Experts are predicting that a rebound in China’s outbound sector could lead to recovery in Thailand’s tourism sector much sooner than expected. According to the latest projections, the Kingdom can expect a major boost in Q3/Q4 as Chinese tourists resume their travel in 2020.
“We expect Thailand’s reopening trajectory to […] move quickly into inter-regional travel punctuated by the outbound China sector, who are ready and willing to visit the country.” (Bill Barnett, Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks)
*(latest COVID-19 figures according to World Health Organization (WHO) Situation Report #92, dated 21st April 2020)