Thailand has shown significant improvements in controlling SARS-CoV-2 virus. In fact it is considered a success story. As of May 18th there were 3031 confirmed cases, 56 patients died, while 2857 fully recovered. Only 118 active cases still remain.
In mid-March the government announced an emergence decree and imposed numerous restrictions in order to contain the spread of the virus. Among those measures were a nighttime curfew (22:00 till 04:00), a ban on large groups of people gathering, a ban on mass sports and cultural events, prohibition on alcohol sales, the closure of all shopping malls, gyms, swimming pools, beaches, beauty salons, massage shops, restaurants (except take away orders), bars, pubs etc. Only shops and markets selling food and essential goods were allowed to operate. All people arriving from abroad were submitted to a mandatory 14-day quarantine at government provided facilities. In order to dissuade people from travelling to other provinces and thus spreading the disease the government even cancelled Songkran celebrations (the traditional Thai new year) 13 – 15 April. All passenger flights to / from Thailand (except repatriation flights) were suspended. Public transportation could operate, although to a limited extent and adhering to strict social distancing rules. Hand sanitizers and temperature checking points became ubiquitous. Wearing face masks in public places became compulsory. Schools and universities were closed. People were advised to avoid all non-essential travel and to work from home.
All these stringent measures seem to have had a positive effect. The number of new infections has been steadily declining and for the past several weeks remains in single digits. On May 13th and again on May 16th no new COVID-19 cases were confirmed for the first time in over 2 months. As a result the government has decided to gradually relax some lockdown rules.
Here is a summary of the latest news and restrictions concerning Thailand’s COVID-19 situation:
-All international passenger flights are suspended till the end of June.
-All Thai nationals and foreigners working in Thailand who arrive back into the country must undergo a 14 day quarantine.
-All department stores and shopping malls are allowed to operate although there are restrictions concerning the number of people allowed in each venue.
-Retail stores, wholesale stores, etc. can operate. This includes office supply stores, home improvement stores, electronic stores, furniture stores, building material stores and all large markets with proper hygiene and physical distance requirements.
-All restaurants can operate as normal, although they must limit the number of customers and the patrons must adhere to social distancing rules. No alcohol sales are allowed in restaurants of any kind at this time.
-Most domestic flights can operate as normal, however the number of passengers per each plane is limited and all passengers must wear face masks. No food or drinks are allowed onboard. The number of flights is limited mostly due to absence of international travelers. Phuket Airport remains closed until further notice.
-Hotels are allowed to operate, however many hotels remain closed due to the lack of foreign guests and low domestic demand. In several provinces, including Chonburi (Pattaya) hotels need to stay closed until at least May 31st due to the local authorities’ orders.
-Small meeting rooms in venues like hotels are allowed to re-open, although the number of people must be small. No opening of training seminars, convention centers, etc.
–Museums, national museums, public libraries, flower and garden parks, art galleries can reopen. Strict physical distancing must take place.
-The curfew has been shortened to 23:00 – 04:00 only.
-Hair salons and beauty shops are allowed to operate with some limitations only.
-All stadiums, bars, pubs and other entertainment venues must remain closed.
-Cinemas, amusement parks, boxing stadiums and gymnasiums must remain closed, while fitness centers are be allowed to resume some activities.
-Beaches in the country remain closed at least until the end of May. This is to avoid people gathering in large groups and arranging beach parties.
-Alcohol sales were allowed on May 3rd.
-Public parks are open.
-All national parks are closed.
For latest updates and developments please visit our web-site https://www.itc.travel/thailand_news or contact us directly.