Emergency decree takes effect midnight; foreigners banned from entering Thailand

Foreigners will be banned from entering the country under the emergency decree being invoked to combat at the coronavirus pandemic, Bangkok Post reported.

The emergency decree comes into effect at midnight on Wednesday, and remains in force through April 30.

The decree bans all foreigners from entry at all entry points – the exceptions being shippers, diplomats, drivers, pilots and others permitted by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Thais stranded in other countries will be allowed to return, it added.

People under the age of five years and over 70 are encouraged to stay home, and public gatherings are banned, under the announcement.

Khaosod English report

The announcements, which are effective nationwide from tomorrow to April 30 unless stated otherwise, include:

  • Provincial governors can ban the public from entering any designated areas
  • Venues with high risks of infection in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan, and Samut Sakhon, will remain closed, such as nightclubs, spas, gyms, sports stadiums, and massage parlors.
  • Land, sea, and air travels into Thailand will be denied with the exception of goods transportation, diplomatic missions, foreigners who hold work permits in Thailand, Thai citizens with embassy permits and health certificates, and any other journeys exempted by the Prime Minister.
  • Hoarding goods related to food, drinking water, and medical supplies will result in arrests and prosecution.
  • Large gatherings will be banned.
  • News coverage that contains false information or cause panic or affects national security will be censored, and those responsible for the contents punished.
  • People under 5 and over 70 will be asked to stay home. They should only journey outside for medical appointments, banking activities, buying their food, contacting the police, carrying out law enforcement orders, among other essential activities.
  • Those with preexisting health conditions are also asked to stay indoors.
  • Commuting between provinces is discouraged, and those who travel to another province will be required to undergo health checks and give their personal details for a possible quarantine order.
  • Shops selling essential goods and services will continue to operate, including banks, factories, markets, supermarkets, financial institutions, gas stations, and online deliveries.

The full text of the announcement is available in Thai here.

Sources: Bangkok Post, Khaosod English, Thai Enquirer