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Covid-19 round-up for expats 1: Should you travel to Thailand?

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: The US and UK warn against travel to Thailand. (via Snappy Goat)

With so much information swirling around the reopening of Thailand and the international tourism and vaccine distribution for foreigners, we thought we’d round up some updates for our readers about what your home country says about if you should travel to Thailand and how they are helping with a vaccine and the Covid-19 situation inside the Kingdom.

The information in these reports is mainly about the United States, United Kingdom, European Union nations, and Australia. You can read each report here:

  1. Covid-19 round-up for expats 1: Should you travel to Thailand?
  2. Covid-19 round-up for expats 2: Will your country give a vaccine?
  3. Covid-19 round-up for expats 3: Are countries helping Thailand?

PART 1: SHOULD I GO TO THAILAND?

Well, for Americans, according to the United States Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs, the answer is basically no. The bureau recently rated Thailand a Level 3 out of 4 in their Travel Advisory Warning system essentially urging citizens to reconsider any unnecessary travel to Thailand.

The notice emailed out this week warned that the Centers for Disease Control had issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice that Thailand has very high Covid-19 levels and that anyone who is not fully vaccinated should not go to Thailand. They warn that visitors to Thailand run a higher risk of being exposed to Covid-19.

They also warned of civil unrest due to the ongoing clashes with insurgents in the south of Thailand battling local authorities. This situation has been an issue for a long time but the memo reasserts that the US Embassy has little jurisdiction to help a citizen in trouble in that region.

The UK government issued similar warnings on their Gov.UK site, also advising against travel in the south of Thailand but stipulating they don’t include the train line between Hat Yai and Padang Besar, one of the driving or walking borders to Malaysia, in their advisory. They also exclude the A43 road between Hat Yai and Sakhom.

The British alert also informs those considering travel that activists may be holding protests and demonstrations around Thailand and especially in Bangkok. They advised tourists to avoid political gatherings but be aware of potential traffic and public transportation delays. They also warned against making political statements or criticising the monarchy, as it is a crime that carries heavy punishments.

Normal warnings about Covid-19 also apply and they advocate following all Thai regulations during travel to Thailand. They also mention other health risks like the zika virus and poor air quality in areas like Bangkok in Chiang Mai. And finally, they warned against possession and use of drugs, the risk of motorbike accidents, and the potential for future terrorist attacks like small bombings that occurred around the country in 2019.

 

 

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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