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16 Jul 2020 | 03:57 AM UTC

Thailand: Authorities re-introduce COVID-19 entry restrictions as of July 14 /update 42

Thailand News Alert

Authorities re-introduce COVID-19 entry restrictions on foreign travelers as of July 14 after new cases reported; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/16/2020, 4:00 AM until 7/23/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Bangkok). COUNTRY/REGION Thailand

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Event

On Tuesday, July 14, Thailand's government tightened entry restrictions on foreign travelers after two new imported cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were detected. The two cases resulted in the self-isolation of 400 people who may have come into contact with the two patients. As a result, all diplomats and family members, who were previously allowed to self-isolate in their residences, must now undergo quarantine under government supervision. Short-term visits by businessmen and state guests who were allowed to enter as of July 1 have been suspended. The two people who imported the cases arrived into Rayong province, resulting in several schools closing and hotel bookings being canceled over fears of possible transmission. Further restrictions may be announced in the medium term.

The Klong Luek (Sa Kaeo province) border checkpoint was reopened for Cambodian traders from Krong Poi Pet (Banteay Meanchey province) as of Sunday, July 12. The checkpoint will be open from 08:00 to 13:00 (local time) each day and traders are reportedly only allowed to collect merchandise left across the border prior to the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions. Traders will not be allowed to buy or sell goods, and must register for border entry; traders are allowed to enter in a truck with no more than two people on board. They will then be subject to a health screening and must wear a mask at all times. A similar reopening for merchandise collection is also taking place at the Ta Phraya, Nong Prue and Khao Din border points.

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 Thursday, July 16, health authorities have confirmed 3232 COVID-19 cases and 58 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

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.

Advice

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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