British expats as well as Thai citizens disallowed entry to Thailand

Published:  23 Mar at 6 PM
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British expats living, working or retiring in Thailand are being warned time is running out for those wishing to repatriate.

A message from the British Ambassador to Thailand has stated Britons wishing to return to the home country are running out of time due to the closing down of almost all flights to the West. By the end of last week, passengers using Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport were at their lowest level since the facility opened its doors to worldwide travellers. Internal flights via Don Mueang airport showed the same logistics as 190 arriving flights contained just 10,000 travellers and several planes landed with just two passengers on board.

According to the British Ambassador, the current situation is likely to continue for an unspecified amount of time in excess of many months. The Bangkok governor has now declared a partial lockdown of everything except food outlets and pharmacies, and the northern city of Chiang Mai has just announced its own lockdown starting tonight. Recent reports suggest that, although the vast majority of COVID-19 cases are in Bangkok, the disease is now spreading across the country to all provinces due to workers in the capital returning to their home towns after losing their jobs.

Both expats wishing to leave Thailand and Thais working overseas who’re hoping against hope to be able to return to their families now believe the government’s recently announced onerous regulations actually represent a de facto ban on all incoming travellers. Thai expats living in the USA, UK and a number of European Union member states are unable to comply with the requirement to have health insurance covering the virus as well as presenting a letter confirming they’re virus-free.

Over the past week, increasing numbers of international insurers are stating their policies don’t cover the coronavirus, and the vast majority of foreign hospitals are unable or unwilling to provide letters confirming freedom from infection. As a result, expats and Thais who’ve been outside the country on business are in the same situation, with no way to re-enter Thailand available at the present time.
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