In a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Thai government announced today they will impose a range of new measures, designed to tighten the quarantine controls already in place. These strategies include blocking all travel into Thailand – for both foreigners and Thai nationals – and imposing a curfew.
The news was confirmed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, speaking at the Covid-19 Situation Administration Centre today. In a statement to the assembled press, he announced a nationwide curfew between the hours of 10pm until 4am, starting from tomorrow (3rd April).
No-one will be permitted to go outside during these hours, except for medical professionals and patients, or those transporting essential goods or working in sanctioned services. Anyone violating the terms of the curfew could face up to two years in prison and/or a fine of as much as THB40,000 (US$1,200), according to Article 18 of the Emergency Decree.
Thailand has already imposed a temporary ban on foreigners entering the country, in effect until 30th April. The latest measures, which are scheduled to last for at least two weeks, expand these restrictions to include Thai nationals returning home. The government explains the extra step as necessary to prepare “state quarantine” facilities following local patients’ infections being linked to imported cases of the virus.
“Related agencies will in the meantime prepare the places and coordinate with Thai embassies to ensure all Thais returning home will be quarantined and get proper medical checks,” said the Prime Minister.
Like the curfew, the new arrival restrictions will come into effect from tomorrow (3rd April) and will continue until 15th April. The new rules will apply to all new applications for entry to the Kingdom; those already approved for entry will be allowed in, though may have to complete a two-week period of quarantine. Officials have advised all Thai people affected by the measures to contact the Thai embassies in their current location and followed the relevant instructions.
Previously, Thais returning home by air had to present a fit-to-fly certificate, along with letters from their embassy confirming they are Thai nationals. Until recently, entry requirements for foreign travellers had included a recent health certificate, along with a health insurance policy amounting to USD100,000 and covering COVID-19 infection. It is not yet clear whether the Kingdom will revert to these arrangements following completion of the temporary ban in April.
Panorama Destination will continue monitoring the situation in Thailand, and will provide updates as soon as new developments arise. For all the latest news regarding COVID-19 in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, we recommend following our social media channels: