Following our previous newsletter on the legal measures following the designation of COVID-19 as a Dangerous Communicable Disease (link), on Thursday 5 March 2020 the new MOPH Announcement Regarding the Areas outside the Kingdom which are considered Dangerous Communicable Disease Areas for COVID-19 B.E. 2563 (2020) (the "Announcement") was published in the Royal Gazette. Four countries were classified as dangerous communicable disease areas, namely (i) the Republic of Korea; (ii) the People's Republic of China (including Macao and Hong Kong); (iii) the Italian Republic; and (iv) the Islamic Republic of Iran. Travelers from these countries will be subject to special inspection and requirements under the Communicable Diseases Act, B.E. 2558 (2015).
On Friday 6 March 2020, the Permanent Secretary of the MOPH clarified to the public that there are three groups of countries related to COVID-19, as follows:
- The first is the group of four countries classified as high risk under the Announcement. Travelers from these countries will be subject to the largest restrictions, including home quarantine and reporting requirements for 14 days.
- The second group of countries are those to which the MOPH recommends that travels should be avoided. There are nine countries in this group, which includes the four existing countries under the Announcement, plus Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, France, and Germany.
- The third group of countries are countries on a special watch list. There are four countries, namely Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United States. The MOPH recommends that travelers to these countries avoid crowded areas and ensure sanitary practices.
It should be noted that the situation is still fluid and advice can change very quickly, with countries being added or removed. Therefore, constant monitoring of advice regarding these countries is recommended.