Thai Government to Suspend Visa Issuance for Chinese Nationals

1st Feb 2020

Bangkok Night

The government of Thailand is considering the halt of visa-on-arrival (VOA) issuance to Chinese visitors amid the coronavirus outbreak.

On Friday, Thai Public Health Minister Anuthin Charnvirakul said that the Cabinet committee met on the same day to tackle measures to prevent the further spreading of coronavirus in Thailand.

One of the measures was the suspension of VOA for Chinese nationals in line with China’s banning of tourists traveling in groups.

Charnvirakul noted that the safety of Thai citizens should be the government’s top priority.

As of yesterday, the number of infected patients in Thailand was at 14, six of which had been released from the hospital. No Thais have been reported infected as of Friday.

Meanwhile, 202 others were suspected to be infected, of which 67 were discharged from the hospital while the remaining number remained under quarantine.

Airlines Step-Up Measures

In line with providing a safe flight and complying with guidelines issued by the Ministry of Public Health, Thailand-based carriers Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, and Thai Smile have implemented measures to ensure that cleanliness is observed while aboard their fleet.

Thai Airways, Thai Smile, and Bangkok Airways, for instance, said that they have implemented cleaning procedures such as anti-septic spraying inside the aircraft, at the ground service area, and check-in counters, especially for flights flying from and to China.

They have also started screening passengers before boarding, and those showing symptoms were endorsed to airport physicians for health inspection.

Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways said their cabin crew was ordered to wear masks and gloves while attending to passengers onboard.

Bangkok Airways said an assistance center was set-up to assist whoever may require emergency assistance.

China Flights Suspension Extended

Meanwhile, low-cost carriers Thai AirAsia and Thai Lion Air announced the extension of flight cancellations to mainland China.

Thai AirAsia said any flight from China to Phuket and Bangkok will be suspended until end-February 2020.

Thai Lion Air also said that all five flights to Chengdu from Hat Yai International Airport will be canceled until February 10.