TAT update: Clarification on visa-on-arrival suspension for South Korea, Hong Kong SAR and Russia

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide clarification on our recent update issued on 13 March, 2020, titled “Thailand temporarily suspends visas for 21 countries to contain COVID-19,” especially for passport holders of South Korea, Hong Kong SAR and Russia.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior’s order on 12 March, 2020, to temporarily suspend the grant of a visa on arrival for 18 countries and tourist visa exemption for three others effective from 13 March, 2020 until 30 September, 2020, will allow Thailand to ensure effective surveillance of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has clarified that:

  • Thailand holds a bilateral agreement on the visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, official and ordinary passports of South Korea for a visit of not exceeding 90 days.
  • Thailand also holds a bilateral agreement on the visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, official and ordinary passports of Hong Kong SAR for a visit of not exceeding 30 days.
  • In addition, Thailand holds a bilateral agreement on the visa exemption for holders of diplomatic and official passports of Russia for a visit of not exceeding 90 days. The agreement also covers holders of ordinary passports for a visit of not exceeding 30 days.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated that holders of different passports from South Korea, Hong Kong SAR and Russia are still permitted to enter and stay in Thailand for tourism purposes for a period as agreed in the bilateral agreements. However, travellers from the Disease Infected Zones as declared by the Ministry of Public Health regardless of the bilateral agreements must present a health certificate clarifying “no risk of COVID-19” and a health insurance prior to boarding pass issuance.

In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affair clarified that travellers from other countries and territories as indicated in the Ministry of Interior’s order of temporarily suspension of a visa on arrival and visa exemption can still visit Thailand, but they are now required to apply for a visa in advance.

TAT would like to remind all travellers that the Ministry of Public Health recently upgraded its COVID-19 control measures for travellers, who will be categorised in three groups per their flight origins: Diseased Infected Zones, countries with ongoing local transmission, and other destinations. For more details, visit: TAT update: Thailand Public Health Ministry upgraded COVID-19 control measures for travellers.

Please be advised that recent announcements by the various government ministries of Thailand may change at any time in accordance with the developing situation. The TAT Newsroom is providing daily updates on the tourism-related COVID-19 situation in Thailand at https://www.tatnews.org/ while the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health is providing constant updates on the overall situation at https://ddc.moph.go.th/viralpneumonia/eng/index.php. For additional information and assistance relating to Thailand’s tourism, contact the TAT Contact Centre 1672 or Tourist Police 1155.

This press release is published on 15 March, 2020, at 11.00 Hrs. All information is accurate at the current time but can be changed depending on the situation. The TAT Newsroom will not be updating this press release but will issue new updates as soon as further information becomes available.

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