On Wednesday, July 1, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) lifted a ban on international flights which was previously in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). However, restrictions remain in place, with entry limited to business travelers, work permit holders, permanent residents, and foreign teachers and students, among others. A full list of those permitted to enter can be found here. All travelers will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period at their own expense.
The nationwide state of emergency has been extended until July 31. The state of emergency allows the Thai government to limit people's rights, such as banning public gatherings and limiting access to 'high-risk areas'. Passengers on public transport must wear facemasks at all times, with most shops implementing the same rule. Smoking in public has been banned and entertainment venues are closed.
As of Friday, July 3, health authorities have confirmed 3179 COVID-19 cases and 58 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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