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Author Topic: Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand (April 15, 2020  (Read 659 times)

Rex (Admin)

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Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand (April 15, 2020

Location:  Thailand

Event:  Ban on Incoming International Flights Extended Until April 30; Transportation Out of Thailand

 

 

CAAT Extends Ban on Incoming International Flights Until April 30

Today, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announced the extension until 30 April 2020 of the ban on incoming international flights.  The extension will likely mean a further reduction in outgoing international flights in the days ahead.

 

We strongly urge U.S. citizens to depart Thailand now while there are still outbound flights available.   

 

The following airlines are currently offering outbound flights from Bangkok with  connections to the United States: Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, Air Asiana, KLM, and Lufthansa.    Japan Airlines announced further reductions in service from Bangkok to Tokyo effective immediately.  Korean Air is expected to reduce its service to Seoul in the near future.  All Nippon Airways (ANA) offers flights from Bangkok to Tokyo, but connecting flights to the U.S. require you to change airports in Japan, which is not allowed under Japan’s current travel restrictions.  There are no longer international flights departing from Chiang Mai International Airport or Phuket International Airport.  U.S. citizens should consider booking flights to major points of entry into the United States and then arrange for further domestic travel upon arrival.  U.S. citizens should also take into account the need to travel from their current location in Thailand to Bangkok in order to catch an international flight (please see “Thai Domestic Travel Restrictions” below).

 

If you are having difficulty booking a flight back to the United States for any reason, including financial, please contact U.S. Embassy Bangkok immediately at acsbkk@state.gov OR U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai at acschn@state.gov .  Government loans are available for the purchase of airline tickets to the United States if needed.

 

Transportation Out of Thailand

U.S. citizens should prepare for the strong possibility that in the near future there will no longer be commercial flights departing Thailand with connections to the United States.  At present, there are no such flights on Mondays and Tuesdays. On other days, only between 1- 5 flights leave daily, a number expected to soon decrease even further.  We strongly advise temporary visitors in Thailand to make commercial arrangements for immediate return to the United States while there is still an opportunity.   

 

When booking a flight out of Thailand we urge you to do so at the earliest opportunity, ideally within the next several days.  If you have booked a flight after this time period, you should consider rebooking for an earlier date or make plans to stay in Thailand indefinitely.

 

The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights from Thailand at this time.  Such flights are a last resort, arranged in situations where U.S. citizens did not have an opportunity to depart via commercial options.   In addition, U.S. citizens are charged the fair market value for seats (normally at least the cost of a full-fare economy ticket.)

 

The following major airports are closed: Phuket International Airport (April 10-30), Koh Samui Airport (April 7-30).

 

There are available routes from southern Thailand to Bangkok.  For those in Phuket, the airport is closed until April 30, and the land and maritime borders are also closed.  The Governor of Phuket has authorized individual passengers or small groups to depart the province to Krabi Airport to catch a connecting flight to Bangkok.  The U.S. Embassy must provide the provincial government your information at least one week before your flight in order to receive clearance.


For those in Krabi, the airport is open and Thai VietJet Air has one flight every other day to Suvarnabhumi International Airport (Bangkok).  Travel to the airport is allowed for those on the mainland or Koh Lanta as long as you can present a boarding pass or proof of booking.  Travel to the airport from the smaller islands may not be possible at this time.


For those in Surat Thani, the airport is open and there is a daily Nok Air flight to Don Mueang International Airport (Bangkok).  There are speedboat transfers between Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, and Koh Samu to Surat Thani.  Please check at the pier directly to determine which lines are running and when.  We understand the Lomprayah company has regular transfers.  There is bus service from the Donsak Pier in Surat Thani to the Surat Thani Airport.

 

If you are having difficulty booking a flight back to the United States for any reason, including financial, please contact U.S. Embassy Bangkok immediately at acsbkk@state.gov OR U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai at acschn@state.gov .  Government loans are available for the purchase of airline tickets to the United States if needed.

 

The few remaining flight routes are subject to cancellation without notice, and many flights are heavily booked.   For verified information about the COVID-19 situation in other countries, please visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html.

 

There are currently no government restrictions or requirements for U.S. citizens departing Thailand or entering the United States.  

 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has country-specific airport information available here.

 

National State of Emergency and Nation-wide Curfew

On March 25th, the Royal Thai Government declared a national state of emergency, effective March 26th, in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Thailand.  Most restaurants, stores, and entertainment venues are closed except for food delivery, supermarkets, restaurants’ delivery service providers and food markets, drug stores, convenience stores, banks, and other stores selling necessary items.  Alcohol sales are banned nation-wide. Several provinces have closed their borders, requested most hotels to close, and have instituted additional restrictions on movement within the province.  Thai law controlling emergency situations gives the Prime Minister’s Office broad authorities, and more emergency measures further restricting movements and activities in Thailand may be announced at any time. Under the state of emergency, provincial governments are also empowered to institute any legal measure they determine necessary to combat the spread of the virus.

 

A nation-wide curfew is currently in effect from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m..  Except for emergency medical care and travel to and from the airport, U.S. citizens should remain in their residences and hotel rooms during those hours.  U.S. citizens who must travel during curfew hours for emergency medical care or to and from the airport may be stopped by the police and should be prepared to show identification and demonstrate their reason for travel.

 

Any U.S. citizens with an emergency request for assistance please email the

American Citizens Services unit acsbkk@state.gov (Bangkok)  OR acschn@state.gov (Chiang Mai).

 

Thai Domestic Travel Restrictions

Options for forms of domestic travel (including airplanes, buses, public vans, and trains) are also decreasing throughout Thailand.  This week there is an average of two flights per day from Chiang Mai International Airport to Bangkok.  In Chiang Mai, all inter-provincial bus and train services are cancelled until April 30.  Some private car services are still offering transportation between provinces of including from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.

 

Travelers should be prepared for domestic travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice that may make travel to the airport in Thailand difficult. Some provinces have established checkpoints where authorities many conduct health inspections or require travelers to have a valid reason to enter or pass through the province.  Phuket province is currently in “lock down.”  You should be prepared to remain in Phuket until transportation restrictions are lifted.  Limitations on movement between Phuket’s 17 districts (Tambun) are in effect until April 27th.

 

Chiang Mai province requires all foreign travelers entering the province to quarantine for 14 days.  Lamphun, Nan, Phitsanulok, and Phrae provinces require all Thai and foreign national travelers to quarantine for 14 days.  Mae Hong Son province has barred all foreigners from entering the province. 

 

Authorities may implement additional provincial travel restrictions which may vary from province to province.  Therefore, U.S. citizens planning to cross provincial lines in order to obtain emergency medical care, to visit the Embassy or Consulate for emergency services, or to travel to an airport should check the latest restrictions first.  If you must travel across provincial lines be prepared to show identification and demonstrate your reason for travel if stopped by the authorities, including providing proof of travel arrangements or medical or consular appointment.     

 

Options for forms of domestic travel (including airplanes, buses, public vans, and trains) are also decreasing throughout Thailand.  In Chiang Mai, all inter-provincial bus and train services are cancelled until April 30.  Some private car services are still offering transportation between provinces including from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. 

 

Royal Thai Government COVID Information

Please visit the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s website for updated information.  Additional information about restrictions across Thailand can be found at the Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Disease Control COVID-19 website.

 

Key Points on COVID-19:

 

    Widespread ongoing transmission of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring globally.
    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential international travel.
    Older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions are at increased risk for severe disease.
    There may be limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas of Thailand.
    In the future, U.S. residents may have difficulty returning to the United States.
    Travelers should avoid contact with sick people and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    Thai regulations now require the wearing of face masks in public.
    All international travelers should stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.

 

For more the most up-to-date information visit the CDC page on Novel Coronavirus and the CDC Travelers Health Page for travelers to Thailand.  Information is also available through the World Health Organization.

 
Actions to Take: 

 

    Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information. 
    For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations. 
    Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information. 
    Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
    Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Thailand.
    Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States. 
    Visit the Kingdom of Thailand’s Ministry of Public’s Health English-language COVID-19 page for updates on the situation in Thailand.

 

Assistance:

 

    U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand

        Telephone: +66 2 205 4049
        +66 2 205 4000 (after hours)
        Email: acsbkk@state.gov
        American Citizens Services 
         

    U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai, Thailand (serving U.S. citizens in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Kamphaengphet, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Petchabun, Phayao, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phrae, Sukhothai, Tak, and Uttaradit provinces)

        Telephone: +66 053 107 700
        +66 2 205 4000 (after hours)
        Email: acschn@state.gov


    State Department - Consular Affairs

        888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
         

 

    Thailand Country Information
    Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts.
    Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Rex (Admin)

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Re: Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand (May 15 2020)
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2020, 12:05:28 PM »
Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand (May 15, 2020)


Location: Thailand


Event: Phuket International Airport Resumes Operations May 16; Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Phuket International Airport Resumes Operations

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announced the Phuket International Airport will resume operations at 00:01 on May 16, 2020. The ban on incoming international flights into Thailand remains in place until 23:59 on May 31, 2020. The Phuket International Airport will implement preventative measures for passengers, employees, and other personnel.  These measures include the requirement to wear a face mask at all times.  In addition, only passengers with a valid boarding pass or travel document will be allowed into airport facilities and everyone accessing the airport is subject to temperature screening.  Travelers can contact CAAT at +66 02 572 8442 and Phuket International Airport at +66 (0) 76 327 2307.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When will the American Citizen Services (ACS) unit reopen for non-emergency passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, and notarial services?

A. The ACS units in Bangkok and Chiang Mai have suspended routine services until further notice. We are available to assist with emergency requests. The Embassy and Consulate General are adhering to guidance from the Department of State and the Royal Thai Government regarding the resumption of operations. When routine services are re-established, there will be limitations on the number of appointments available as we try to ensure our customers practice social distancing in our waiting rooms.

 

For those seeking to notarize documents for use in the United States, you may wish to consider using alternative options, to include utilizing a remote notarial service provider. A growing number of states accept documents notarized through online services; these services are not universally accepted. You will need to research whether they can be used in the state where your document will be filed. Remote notarization could fulfill your need for notary services more quickly.

 

If you have an urgent emergency request, please email acsbkk@state.gov (Bangkok) or acschn@state.gov (Chiang Mai).

 

Q. Should I/my family leave Thailand?

A. Travelers who choose to remain in Thailand should be prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. International travel is unpredictable, and travel restrictions can be put into effect with little or no advance notice. We urge U.S. citizens to work with their airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available.

 

On April 24, automatic visa extensions for foreign nationals went into effect. Temporary visas (of all types) are extended automatically until July 31, 2020. If you have a valid visa (i.e., your visa would have expired after March 26, the date of the first "amnesty"), you do not need to visit an immigration office in order to benefit from the automatic visa extension. Further extensions are not guaranteed.

 

The U.S. Embassy will no longer provide extension of stay requests. U.S. Citizens in Thailand temporarily have between now and July 31, 2020, to either return to the United States or their country of permanent residence or to obtain the appropriate visa type for your long-term stay in Thailand.

 

Please refer your specific visa questions directly to the Thai Immigration Bureau. More information can also be found here: https://immigration.go.th/content/extend_alien?click=1

 

Q. Are there still flights out of Thailand even though there is a ban on incoming international flights?

A. The following airlines are currently offering outbound flights from Bangkok with connections to the United States: Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Japan Airlines, Air Asiana, and Lufthansa. Japan Airlines announced further reductions in service from Bangkok to Tokyo effective immediately. All Nippon Airways (ANA) offers flights from Bangkok to Tokyo, but connecting flights to the United States requires you to change airports in Japan, which is not allowed under Japan's current travel restrictions. There are currently no international flights departing from Chiang Mai International Airport or Phuket International Airport. U.S. citizens should also consider the need to travel from their current location in Thailand to Bangkok to catch an international flight.

 

The few remaining flight routes are subject to cancellation without notice, and many flights are heavily booked. For verified information about the COVID-19 situation in other countries, please visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html.

 

Q. What do I do if I need assistance to depart Thailand?

A. If you are a U.S. citizen who does not have access to funding, you may be eligible for a repatriation loan. A repatriation loan is only for immediate travel to the United States and cannot be used to remain in Thailand. The Embassy can use the repatriation loan to purchase a ticket to the United States on the next available flight. The loan can also be used to pay for lodging and food associated with the impending travel. This is a U.S. Government loan program that you will have to pay back to be eligible for another U.S. passport. If you need financial assistance to return immediately to the United States, please fill out the form here so that we can begin the process: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=dFDPZv5a0UimkaErISH0S7gxJUk_XcZEjLnOzUyz0UFUM0U5RTBVNlE3Nk9GWUNXQTdBRVlTQzFDVSQlQCN0PWcu

 

Q. Will I be allowed into the United States?

A. U.S. citizens are allowed entry into the United States. The presidential proclamations restricting entry to the United States for certain foreign nationals do not apply to U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. U.S. passengers that have been in certain countries, not including Thailand, must travel through select airports where the U.S. Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures. See the DHS website for further details: https://www.dhs.gov/

 

You may be screened when you arrive in the United States. Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the latest health recommendations for travelers returning to the United States. For more information, please see the following websites:

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/from-other-countries.html
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html

 

Q. How do I get my medications into Thailand?

A. We are unable to assist you with obtaining medications in Thailand or arranging for the importation of medications only available in the United States. Due to the unreliability of flights, we recommend you purchase your medication locally, if possible. Many drugs are available through reputable pharmacies such as Boots or Watsons. Some may need to change to a reliable alternative medication available in Thailand as recommended by their physician.

 

If the medication you need is not available locally and is critical to your health and well-being, then we recommend you return to the United States immediately as we have no way of determining when this crisis will be over, or normal flight schedules will resume. There are currently outbound commercial flights available with connections to U.S. cities.

 

Q. Thailand seems to be reopening, is there still a state of emergency?

A. Yes, Thailand is still under a national state of emergency, and a nation-wide curfew between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. remains in place until May 31, 2020. Thai law controlling emergency situations gives the Prime Minister's Office broad authorities, and more emergency measures that further restrict movements and activities in Thailand could be announced at any time. Under the state of emergency, provincial governments are also empowered to institute any legal measure they determine necessary to combat the spread of the virus.

 

Q. Where do I find the latest information on COVID-19?

A. U.S. citizens in Thailand should refer to the Ministry of Public Health and the U.S. CDC for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 response. U.S. citizens can contact the Department of Disease Control directly at 1422 for information on COVID-19 testing facilities and treatment locations. They have English-language staff. All public hospitals will take COVID-19 patients.

Private hospitals have been asked to treat COVID-19 patients as well, but it is up to the hospital. In both cases, payment must be made before treatment. The U.S. Embassy is unable to pay for medical treatment.

 

Key Points on COVID-19:

    Widespread, ongoing transmission of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring globally.

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential international travel.
    Older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions are at increased risk for severe disease.
    There may be limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas of Thailand.
    In the future, U.S. residents may have difficulty returning to the United States.
    Travelers should avoid contact with sick people and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    Thai regulations now require the wearing of face masks in public.
    All international travelers should stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.
    For the most up-to-date information, visit the CDC page on Novel Coronavirus and the CDC Travelers Health Page for travelers to Thailand. Information is also available through the World Health Organization.

 

Actions to Take:

    Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
    For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC's latest recommendations.
    Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
    Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
    Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Thailand.
    Visit the Department of Homeland Security's website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
    Visit the Kingdom of Thailand's Ministry of Public's Health English-language COVID-19 page for updates on the situation in Thailand.

 

Assistance:

    U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand
         Telephone: +66 2 205 4049
         +66 2 205 4000 (after hours)
         Email: acsbkk@state.gov
         American Citizens Services

 

    U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai, Thailand (serving U.S. citizens in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Kamphaengphet, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Petchabun, Phayao, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phrae, Sukhothai, Tak, and Uttaradit provinces)

         Telephone: +66 053 107 700
         +66 2 205 4000 (after hours)
         Email: acschn@state.gov

 

    State Department – Consular Affairs

         888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

 
    Thailand Country Information
    Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts.
    Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Surfer

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Re: Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand (April 15, 2020
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2020, 10:38:00 AM »
Taken from The Thaiger:

UPDATE:

In a surprise reversal, The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has announced the postponement of the reopening of Phuket International Airport, indefinitely. Just yesterday they announced that the provincial airport was to re-open from tomorrow morning.


https://thethaiger.com/coronavirus/phuket-airport-to-reopen-saturday-morning-with-limited-flights-and-extra-paperwork