Thailand had the first Covid-19 case outside China. The infectious disease was diagnosed on January 13, 2020, on a 61-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan (where the virus originated), when she arrived at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. However, the number of cases remained relatively low over the following days, so a state of emergency was only declared on March 26, and a curfew was implemented on April 3rd (everyone had to stay indoors between 10pm and 4am), but it ended on June 15. Before these measures, the virus was mostly controlled by temperature and symptom screening at international airports. Bangkok's popular shopping malls, beauty salons, gyms, and massage parlors have now reopened, and, since June 1st, cinemas and theaters are back in business, but with a limit of 200 people at a time.
Number of Covid-19 Coronavirus Cases in Bangkok and Thailand
As of June 18, there are 3,141 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus in Thailand. The first confirmed death occured on March 1st, and there have now been 58 in total. Most of the cases are in Bangkok (1,591), where there have been 24 deaths. The fatality rate in the country is rather low, at just 1.8%.
Travel Restrictions in Thailand
The first travel restrictions in Thailand took place on March 5, when travelers were subject to quarantine, and those arriving from “high-risk countries” were placed under observation. On March 19, it was announced that international arrivals from a number of countries would require medical certification and health insurance -- all travelers from China (including Hong Kong and Macau), South Korea, Italy and Iran, had to show medical certificates prior to boarding their flights and on arrival in Thailand, and then remain in quarantine for 14 days. People from other countries were also asked to stay indoors for 14 days if they showed any symptoms. All passenger flights were banned in the country between April 6 and 18. AirAsia, which operates a large number of domestic flights in Thailand, resumed domestic flights on April 29, and has gradually added international destinations. However, as of June 18, most flights to and from Thailand remain suspended, but inbound international travel for business purposes has been allowed to resume in July. The state of emergency remains in place until June 30, to avoid a second wave of infections.
Is it Safe to Travel to Bangkok and Thailand?
Bangkok shut down most of its businesses on March 21, which has helped maintain the number of Covid-19 cases rather low, despite the city’s large population. Only supermarkets, pharmacies, and takeout services in restaurants were allowed to stay in business. Once all businesses reopen and flights return, the risk for travelers is expected to remain moderate in Bangkok and everywhere else in the world, as there is yet no vaccine against Covid-19. Everyone is advised to practice the universally recommended protective measures, such as wearing masks, social distancing (staying 6 feet or about 2 meters away from other people) and practicing high personal hygiene -- regularly wash your hands with soap and water (or with an alcohol-based sanitizer), especially after sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose, and cover your mouth and nose with your elbow (not with your hands) every time you cough or sneeze.
Aircraft and trains in Bangkok are said to be disinfected regularly, but always wear a mask and maintain a safe distance from other passengers, when possible.
If you develop respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath) or a fever, postpone your trip, stay at home, and seek medical assistance.
Keep checking this page for regular updates and advice on traveling to Bangkok and Thailand this year.