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Author Topic: Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand (January 15, 2021)  (Read 326 times)

Rex (Admin)

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Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand (January 15, 2021)

Location: Thailand

Event:  COVID-19 Test Requirement for Travel to the United States and Domestic Travel Restrictions in Thailand

 

Effective January 26, 2021, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expanding the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to all air passengers entering the United States.  Air passengers are required to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within the three calendar days before their flight to the United States departs and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19.  This applies to all air passengers, two years of age or older, traveling into the United States, including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.  For further information, please refer to the CDC’s website for frequently asked questions regarding the order.

 

CDC does not recommend getting tested again in the three months after a positive viral test, as long as you do not have symptoms of COVID-19.  If you have had a positive viral test in the past three months, and you have met the criteria to end isolation, you may travel instead with documentation of your positive viral test results and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that states you have been cleared for travel.  The positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery.”

 

Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before they board.  If a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.  For more information on test results, please refer to the CDC’s guide on Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States.

 

COVID-19 tests are available at many public and private hospitals throughout Thailand.  The Ministry of Public Health has provided a list of 44 laboratories that conduct COVID-19 testing.  U.S. citizens can contact the Thai Department of Disease Control hotline for information on COVID-19 testing facilities by dialing 1422 from within Thailand.  A list of medical establishments, laboratories, and professionals in Bangkok, central Thailand, southern Thailand, and northeastern Thailand can be found here.  You can find a list for Chiang Mai and northern Thailand here.  The U.S. Embassy cannot provide this testing.

 

U.S. citizens will be required to pay for COVID-19 testing and any COVID-19 care.  The COVID-19 test can cost between 2,500 and 10,000 Thai baht.  It is often more expensive to be tested at a private hospital.  In the event of a positive COVID-19 test result, there are reports of treatment costing over 100,000 Thai baht.  The Thai government requires individuals who test positive for COVID-19 in Thailand to be quarantined at specific hospitals and patients will be responsible for related expenses.

 

Domestic Travel Restrictions in Thailand

 

Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the Thai government and provincial governments have enacted a variety of emergency disease control measures.  The Thai government has extended its emergency decree until February 28, 2021.  A growing number of provinces are categorized by the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) as “red zones” and subject to disease control prevention measures, including the closure of some businesses.  Many provinces have begun to tighten entry requirements for people traveling between provinces in Thailand and there are reports of health checkpoints being established at some provincial border crossings.

 

The Thai government has discouraged interprovincial travel.  Travel out of some provinces requires special documentation, including Chantaburi, Chonburi, Trat, Rayong, and Samut Sakhon.  Other provinces are requiring arriving travelers from other provinces to quarantine for 14 days.  Some airlines and bus lines have announced reductions in service.

 

Restrictions may be implemented with little or no advance notice and can include a thorough inspection of travelers, mandatory quarantines, or an outright prohibition on entry for non-residents.  These restrictions will make domestic travel between provinces increasingly difficult.

 

U.S. citizens are advised to consult relevant Thai government resources and media outlets to understand fully the requirements for entering the province(s) on a travel itinerary.   Local restrictions related to COVID-19 are changing quickly, so proactive planning is imperative.

 

Resources for information on local COVID-19 restrictions include:

·      Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT):  Updates available on their website (https://www.tatnews.org/category/thailand-tourism-updates/) or by calling the TAT Call Center at +66 2 250 5500 or 1672 from within Thailand.

·      Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs:  Updates in English available on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/mfathailand).

·      Thai Government Public Relations Department:  Updates on their website (https://thailand.prd.go.th/main.php?filename=index) and on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thailandprd/).

·      Chiang Mai Province COVID-19 updates: https://www.facebook.com/Chiangmaidatacenter

·      Local media.

 

Actions to Take:

·      Research relevant travel restrictions and requirements before embarking on any domestic and international travel;

·      Monitor local media and our Embassy website for updates;

·      Check your email regularly for further alerts;

·      Continue COVID-19 precautions, including mask use and social distancing;

·      Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information; and,

·      Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts.

 

Assistance: 

·    U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand
American Citizens Services
Telephone: +66 2 205 4049
+66 2 205 4000 (after hours)
Email: acsbkk@state.gov
Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

·    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
   
   
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fceligoj

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Re: Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand (January 15, 2021)
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2021, 09:11:15 AM »
You know some of our members who are Americans complain on the service, or the lack thereof, by the US Embassy and the Consular Sections.  They are 1000% better than many other Embassies.

I have had to be involved in reporting a death of an Australian, and let me tell you the Australian Embassy/Consular Section services are practically nonexistent.  For example, they only have business hours M-F between 0830 and 1600, no emergency number.  If there is an emergency, you have to call Canberra!  The website is almost sterile so you have to call them and explain the situation then all the responsibility is up to the caller to provide back to them 'adequate' information.  I doubt that they interface with any local RTP office when an Australian needs assistance (they wanted me to send them the peculiar information since they just sit back and wait for the RTP to contact them which may happen weeks/months later.)  There are no pull down menus with the various services they provide, which probably means there are little in the way of services.  AND THEY DO NOT ASSIST THE WIDOW WITH ANYTHING.  Actually they said to just send the Thai documentation and they would ask later for the translations (crazy!  Had the translations prepared and sent to them at the same them.)

I know they contacted her after I initially provided basic information like his passport front page, his address and his widow's phone number.  Of course, after the call to her, her understanding of what they needed was too confusing.  (Even though an Australian  naturalized citizen assisted her in the interface.)  So, I had to contact them again to get a 'detailed request of information' like death certificate both hospital and police, their marriage certificate, etc.  AND they did not offer to provide her any documentation to assist her in any required documents needed for notification on insurance policies, bank accounts, etc, either in Thailand or Australia.

Now, they said nothing about her providing information on his demise to Immigration so he won't be considered an overstay.  Seems it should be done, and I doubt if the Embassy will done anything.

I would imagine the UK Embassy provides their citizens quite a bit of information on their website plus assistance in Citizen Services, but what about the rest?  Does any other Embassy provide Health alerts about what is happening in inside their home country or even in Thailand like the US Embassy?

We Americans are very lucky.