On 30 April 2021, the Thai government approved and reinstated the original 14-day quarantine period for those entering Thailand from overseas effective 1 May 2021, and cancelled and suspended the issuing of Certificates of Entry (COE) for foreign nationals who wish to enter Thailand from India effective from 1 May 2021 until further notice. Thailand has also banned foreign nationals arriving from Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan amid concerns of more cases of the Indian variant effective from 10 May 2021 until further notice.
On 30 April 2021, the Thai government approved and reinstated the original 14-day quarantine period for those entering Thailand from overseas effective 1 May 2021, and cancelled and suspended the issuing of Certificates of Entry (COE) for foreign nationals who wish to enter Thailand from India effective from 1 May 2021 until further notice.1 Moreover, Thailand has banned foreign nationals arriving from Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan amid concerns of more cases of the so-called Indian variant (officially known as “B.1.617”) effective from 10 May 2021 until further notice.2
These measures are necessary to protect public health in Thailand amidst growing concerns regarding the increased transmission of COVID-19 with variant strains throughout Thailand.
In light of the evolving changes and travel restrictions, it is important for companies and their globally-mobile employees to plan accordingly. All foreign nationals travelling to Thailand need to re-evaluate the necessity of their trips.
Indeed, until such time as the government decides it is safe to rescind or more significantly roll-back current restrictions, extensive remote working is a “best practice” for globally-mobile employees – apart from “essential workers” – to the extent possible, and is a way for employers to foster the safety of their employees and help ensure business continuity.
The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) in Thailand had previously reduced the quarantine period to 10 days or 7 days, depending on vaccination status, effective from 1 April 2021. Since the Thai New Year (mid-April 2021), Thailand has been fighting a fierce third wave of infections – the worst the nation has dealt with during the pandemic – after a year of relative success in controlling the virus, with the mutated strains of the virus reported in other countries now posing further risk in Thailand.
To protect public health in Thailand, the Thai government has reinstated the original 14-day quarantine. Details are as follows:
Moreover, the CCSA has placed further restrictions on foreign nationals wishing to enter Thailand from the below-noted four countries.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is updating its online system so that COEs will now state the period of quarantine, according to the conditions. Travellers can download a new COE corresponding with their travel dates and new quarantine period from the MFA website.3
KPMG in Thailand is tracking this matter closely. We will endeavour to keep readers of GMS Flash Alert posted on any important developments as and when they occur.
1 The changes have been published in the Royal Gazette (in Thai): http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2564/E/094/T_0026.PDF. Announcement from the Royal Thai Embassy in New Delhi, India http://newdelhi.thaiembassy.org/en/2021/04/cancellation-suspension-coe-issuance-non-thai-nationals-1-may-2021/.
2 Announcement from the Royal Thai Embassy, Dhaka, Bangladesh: https://www.facebook.com/RoyalThaiEmbassyDhaka/photos/a.1739612959616665/2957082434536372/ ; Announcement from the Royal Thai Embassy, Kathmandu, Nepal: http://thaiembnepal.org.np/storage/files/shares/COVID-19/SOP-for-COE-Application-10-may-2021.pdf; Announcement from the Royal Thai Embassy, Islamabad, Pakistan: https://www.facebook.com/thai.islamabad/posts/1444285972408271.
3 See Thailand's “Certificate of Entry (COE) Registration System (for air travel)” at: https://coethailand.mfa.go.th/ .
* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Thailand.
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