COVID-19: Thailand suspends Visas on arrival for 19 countries and territories


BANGKOK – Thailand has suspended the visas on arrival (VoA) for 19 countries  and territories including China and India to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the kingdom.

Thailand’s Interior Minister, General Anupong Paochinda said visa exemption would be cancelled for South Korea, Italy and Hong Kong.

“People from the listed countries will need to apply for a visa with the Thai embassy in their countries,” he said at a press conference, here, today.

VoA will be suspended for nationals of all 19 countries and territories previously eligible, involving Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan and Vanuatu.

However, it is unclear when the process will start as it will only come into force a day after being published in the Royal Gazette.

Anupong said travellers from disease-infected areas – China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Italy and Iran — would need to apply for a visa as well as present a medical certificate to prove they were free from COVID-19 before boarding their flight to Thailand.

Meanwhile, Thailand today confirmed six new cases of COVID-19 infection — one Singaporean and five Thais — with the tally at 59.

Director of the Disease Control Department, Dr Sophon Iamsirithawon said the new cases included a Singaporean restaurant owner in Bangkok who was tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday.

Besides that, two officers at Suvarnabhumi Airport including an Immigration officer were tested positive for COVID-19.

“They are not working at the same spot. Both came into contact with foreigners and their belongings, including passports,” he said at the COVID-19 daily briefing today.

Other cases include a 25-year-old Thai man with no travel history abroad, a 27-year-old Thai woman who returned from South Korea and a 40-year-old Thai man who returned from Japan.

To date, there are 59 cases of COVID-19 with one fatality in Thailand. A total of 34 patients have been discharged from hospitals while 24 are still under treatment.